Finished Project: Natural Form Mourning Gown

First off- I absoultely LOVED reading all of your comments on my last post about what goodies you’ve found in your vintage patterns! So fun! Thanks for sharing your stories and finds :)

I realized I never got around to posting this outfit! Whoops?  This was another dress I made for Costume College, the annual costuming convention in California. I have a few more Victorian costumes I made for this event and I still haven’t taken proper pictures of them.

Actually, the theme of Costume College this coming year might be of interest to a lot of you.  The theme is the Golden Age of Hollywood: 1930-1955.  The bonus track will be focused on that time span, but there will still be a lot of classes focused on a variety of costuming interest, including historical costume.

This costume was made from Truly Victorian patterns. The bodice was a combination of a few of their patterns. Although I made this  a while ago and I don’t remember my exact changes, I believe I combined the 1880 Jacket Bodice pattern with the 1879 Curaiss Bodice pattern and lengthened the sleeves to long sleeves.

The overskirt was made with the 1880 Hermione Overskirt pattern and the underskirt was made from the 1878 Fantail Skirt pattern.
I started this project several years ago and got disgusted with the way it was turning out, so put it away in my closet and completely forgot about it until about a month before Costume College. I pulled it out and tried it on. At that time it was untrimmed and I needed to fix a few fitting concerns. It is trimmed with several antique black trims I had in my stash, including the fringe and the beaded appliques. The rest of the trims, including the looped edging and the velvet ribbon bands on the underskirt are new. The bodice and overskirt are made of silk dupioni. The underskirt is made of a faux silk taffeta. The buttons up the front are vintage. The revers on the bodice and the faux cuffs are stitched down accents from black velvet.
The hat, veil, and purse are antique.  I wore this over a very small bustle because I wanted the silhouette to be of the transitional period between early bustle and natural form.

In the end, I actually liked the way it turned out and I’m glad I revisited this project instead of just giving up on it and starting new :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

14 Comments on Finished Project: Natural Form Mourning Gown

  1. Sara
    September 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm (13 years ago)

    Oh, WOW! Truly amazing!

  2. Zelle
    September 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm (13 years ago)

    What a wonderful dress!

  3. americanduchess
    September 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm (13 years ago)

    It’s SO perfect!!!!

  4. Cynthia
    September 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm (13 years ago)

    Charming, and so authentic looking that I don’t know if I should congratulate you on your fabulous dress, or offer heartfelt condolences on your tragic loss ; )

  5. Stephanie
    September 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm (13 years ago)

    You look stunning! I really love the first picture. It’s such a great shot of you.

  6. Rogues of Thread
    September 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm (13 years ago)

    I think this turned out very nice! Sometimes you do just have to put something away in the closet and not think about it for a while before you can go back and have a fresh look at it. I like the period look images too. It would be nice to see at least one pic, maybe a detail one, in color. It’s hard to appreciate some of the trims and the dupioni in aged b&w. Good job!

  7. Alli
    September 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm (13 years ago)

    Omg! What an amazing dress!

  8. The Dreamstress
    September 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm (13 years ago)

    Gorgeous! And I’m off too look at the flickr stream because I want to see the colour photos and all the details!

  9. Sarah 'Bopeep' Schimke
    October 1, 2011 at 12:03 am (13 years ago)

    Amazing! Love heavy drapery fringed dresses! This looks like it weighs 15 pounds but then that’s the fun of wearing Victorian! Nothing else feels like it!

  10. Jill
    October 1, 2011 at 12:04 am (13 years ago)

    so fantastic!

  11. Erin
    October 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm (13 years ago)

    And today people wear khakis, jeans, cargo shorts, and t-shirts to funerals. I want a bouncer at my funeral who will turn people away who aren’t in black. Veils optional but appreciated.

  12. Lauren
    October 3, 2011 at 2:32 am (13 years ago)


  13. Casey
    October 3, 2011 at 11:25 am (13 years ago)

    Wow! I’m glad you revisited this project too–the final result is stunning! Isn’t it funny how sometimes those garments we stash in the closet as “hopeless UFO’s” end up being some of the best once the kinks are worked out? (Usually months or years down the line! ;) Bravo!

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