Finished Project: The 1870s Green Plaid Bustle Dress

I’m back from Costume College, my good friend is on her way back home to Texas, and it’s time to get back to real life. Woe!  But I have some fun photos to share coming up, and the first of which I want to share is the 1870s plaid bustle dress project I posted about previously.

I finished it all up for the most part by the time my friend arrived, but since she had some extra sewing to do I started doing trimming.  And more trimming.  And more trimming.  Someone on the American Duchess Facebook album of Costume College photos said it looked similar to old fashioned ribbon candy- and you know, I have to agree!

This one was lots of fun to trim.  I love this time period.  I can trim, and trim the trims, then trim the trim with trims.  In this case the most fun things to make for trimming were the ruffles which were finished with a bias binding in the peach. Over the top of the ruffles at the side I ran a braid which was made of three tubes of bias made into cording and then braided.  The bows that are accented with tassels at the end were lots of fun to make, too.

This outfit was made using Truly Victorian patterns.  The bodice was made with Heather’s new 1872 Vested Bodice Pattern, TV403.  The skirt was made with the 1875 Parisian Trained Skirt Pattern, TV216 (you can see my previous version of the skirt in their website photo).  I’m a huge fan of Truly Victorian patterns- they make these Victorian patterns so accessible, and they make up really well!  I documented working on this bodice in prior posts here, here, and here.

Capturing the correct colors of this outfit has proved quite difficult.  In reality it’s probably a combination of the photos here in front of a blank background and the photos above.

The hat is actually a 1930s hat I had in my vintage collection.  At the last minute I remembered I didn’t have appropriate headwear so I pulled out this one, which just so happened to match perfectly.  I pinned little accents of the green onto the hat, added a pink feather and a few dress clips, and it suddenly became passable for 1870s.  The entire dress was made from polyester taffeta (gasp!) but the fabrics looked so much like authentic silk taffeta, even in person, and had the same hand to the touch, that I was able to make the dress look passable on a much better budget than by using a more authentic silk.  For a dress I’ll only wear on occasion, I decided it was a good sacrifice for me to make and it helped out my pocketbook ;)

That wraps up this project!  The End ;)

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24 thoughts on “Finished Project: The 1870s Green Plaid Bustle Dress”

  1. Holy wow! I can’t believe that’s a poly taffeta – it looks so like silk! I absolutely love the plaid. I’ve looked at that bustle pattern a number of times but never even considered it. It looks so much lovelier all sewn up (and beautifully trimmed). Huge Kudos!!

  2. Love the plaid, i’ve been admiring this dress in photos I’ve seen it in on Facebook. Beautiful job

  3. Ohh it’s stunning! I started my school studying sewing and clothing business and I hope that someday I can make these kind of dresses as well as you can!

    1. Thank you! I went to fashion school as well. Keep at it, and I’m sure you can! There’s many people I know who never went to fashion school and they can now make big gorgeous Victorian dresses. It just takes practice and time :) You can do it!

  4. Lauren, you have truly outdone yourself! This confection is exquisite. I loved the bodice from your earlier posts, but I had no idea how amazing the finished product was going to be! I am so glad that you had the extra time to embellish away – you look wonderful. And I bet you were the belle of the ball!

  5. Wow, nothing short of glorious. And who cares that the fabric is polyester when it looks as beautiful as that? Yet another amazing dress you’ve made. I’m so glad that you share them with us.

    1. Thanks! I agree, re: fabric content. Synthetics are getting better over time, and for me it’s about getting the “look”, rather than being 100% accurate- as long as it looks convincing I’m happy :)

  6. WOW! This is gorgeous! What an incredible amount of work—and worth every single second! You look absolutely stunning; the hat is the perfect touch, too.

  7. When I glanced at this dress in A.Duchess’ album, I immediately thought “That looks like something Lauren would make.” Then I saw your face! :) It’s so perfect, I love the colors on you and it’s such an interesting gown. Isn’t it lovely to just let yourself go on a project and trim trim trim to your heart’s content? :) It’s completely fantastic.

  8. This is just Magnificent! Truly!

    Did you win that competition by the way, with the photo of you in your lovely hat and the fishing net in the background??

    Miss P xx

  9. I, like others, can’t get over that it’s a polyester taffeta that you used! Gorgeous! All the trimmings really make the dress–so, so pretty!

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