July 6, 2015

Costuming Plans; A Complete Revision

 If you have been around this blog for a while, you know I have been trying to design/make a Victorian bustle gown this year. Through a various series of decisions, I bought the Indian block print cotton above to make said Victorian bustle dress...because it seemed like a good idea at the time. The trouble is I have never been able to decide on a design I like for the gown. I can't find another fabric to match the particular shade of orange, or the particular shade of off-white, putting me at a design impasse. I feel like if I go ahead and use this fabric for the bustle dress, I don't think I will end up liking the dress in the end. So I am not going to do it! It's back to the fabric choice drawing board for the bustle dress.

Though, that does leave me with 9 yards of the above Indian block print. That is a ton of fabric, and do you know what is much more suited to a lightweight block printed cotton? The late 18th century. So I am going to use the block print cotton to make a late 18th century robe a l'anglaise with a matching petticoat instead!

Block print cotton, 1780-1785, V&A
Here is my sketch. The fabric is more red-based orange than the photo at the top of this post (from the Etsy seller) and though I haven't seen any orange/rust colored cotton extant examples, I think the fact that it is an authentic Indian block print will provide the accuracy factor enough for my taste. The fabric is so much more suited to the 18th century, and to this design, than it ever was to the late Victorian Bustle gown it was bought for and I think I will be so much happier with the result! I can also wear this gown with my black sheer petticoat from last year and other black accessories like my black silk hat. Perfect for Halloween non?

The exact color, only mine is lightweight taffeta, not dupioni!
I also have major costume ADD and want to make something else first before I make the rust l'anglaise. I have had some iridescent violet silk taffeta in my stash for forever waiting to become something 18th century and now is the time! I want to make a frilly pet en l'air with those lovely crisp back pleats and lots of self trim!

I'll make a puffy off white voile petticoat to wear with it! I already have the most gigantic picture hat to wear with the ensemble too. 
Like this lovely pet en l'air, only without the matching petti-not enough silk for that!
 You are thinking, "but Bianca, you already started working on the bustle dress!" which is true, but I never got past the first stages of the muslin. My heart isn't in the project right now, I have shifted focus! I have some ideas for the newly re-imagined bustle project, but I think it will be put on hold until the fall. I want to jump into the pet en l'air project first, then the rust gown, and end the year with the bustle dress.

Planning, designing, never actually getting any costuming done! Can anyone relate? I know I am not alone!


  1. Definitely! Don't force it. If the muse wants to come back for that project, it will, but if your heart isn't in it, move on for the time being at least. Not everything we begin ends up being something we love/actually really want to focus on. That's totally normal and helps us, hopefully, to ultimately really focus on what is calling our name most strongly at present.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica, it just feels a bit strange switching projects around after I talk about them on the blog so much! That's just me being silly though :)


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