Tuesday, October 12, 2010

History in the making

Back to my journal on the dress from the Musee Argenteuil.

I am now working on the pattern for the modern reproduction of Mrs Abbott's dress. This one will fit a person with a 36" bust. Here you can see the bodice cut out in cotton sateen and pinned together. This will become the underlining of the bodice.

There are certain considerations to be made when adapting an 1885 dress to the modern figure. Firstly, the modern bride will probably not be wearing a corset, so the high bust line of the original must be brought down about 1". The darts will need to be shaped right to the bust point, unlike a modern dart, which ends about 1" away from the bust point. This will help give the illusion of the corset underneath and keep the period silhouette.

Secondly, the waistline of the original bodice cuts quite high at the sides. Again, fine if you are wearing a corset, but the bodice will rise above the skirt waistband on the un-corseted figure. Therefore, I made the decision to lower the waist at the sides somewhat. I had to keep the sharp points at front and back waist.

The three quarter sleeves may need further length adjustments, depending on what lace I find. I hope the wearer of this likes the sleeve gathers, which will be mostly at the back of the armhole, again, for accuracy to the era. the width of the lace will also determine if I will lower the neckline further. The original dress has a drawstring at the neckline. I like this touch, as it allows the bride to keep the neckline close to the chest if she wants.

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