So, now that the basics of my Victorian undergarments are all in order, its time to get cracking on the dress to go over them! I have the added challenge of designing a dress I like using mostly cotton, as these dresses take up a lot of fabric and I can't afford to buy 12 yards of silk or wool. In an effort to find some historical basis for making an entirely cotton gown, I have been searching through pinterest for examples. The two dresses above are quite adorable and very "summer" but I am looking for something more like an all weather traveling suit-ish design.
|1885, American, Cotton and silk, MET|
|1885, French, Cotton, MET|
|1885-88, American, Cotton and silk, MET|
|1885, UK, Printed cotton, V&A|
|1883, UK, Printed cotton and lace, V&A|
I have found several printed cotton dresses, but so far have been unable to find any cotton dresses in a solid color. I'm not sure if I want to use a print, I like the idea of using two solids with a nice patterned trim in the mix. If only I could afford to use silk! Perhaps one day. I do like the idea of making a solid color underskirt that I could make a matching bodice and overskirt for in the same fabric, and then another bodice and overskirt in a print. Two gowns, one underskirt! That's my kind of economical costuming!
1885 Four-Gore Underskirt and 1883 Tail Bodice on hand to make the underskirt and bodice of my dress. I keep waffling on weather or now to buy an overskirt pattern or to just play around and drape one myself. For now I think I will juts start out by making a solid colored underskirt in cotton sateen, in a dark navy, if I can find it at a good price.