I wanted an 1890s evening dress for an up coming event. After looking at some patterns, namely ballgown type bodices I kept going back to the Ripple. My problem with ballgown bodices is they show so much skin. I am not talking boobage. I mean shoulders, arms. Quite frankly, things I really don't want to show off. I don't even go sleeveless in my modern clothing so I sure as hell am not doing that in my historical costuming. Because no.
While I continued to ponder my dilemma I made another ripple skirt in black silk taffeta. I figured I can use it as part of a mourning dress at some point. And what the hell. A black skirt is a key wardrobe addition. Plus I LOVE the Ripple skirt. It is a huge PITA to make but it is so worth it! And by PITA I just mean a 6 yard hem to hand stitch and a lot of fabric to haul around as you are working on it.
Once I finished my skirt I had a moment of genius! Not really, but I remembered I had a pattern for different variety of 1890s sleeves (TV495). And I thought if I changed out the sleeve style on the Ripple I could make it more evening friendly. Once I pulled out the bodice pattern and looked it over I decided to leave off the collar and use pretty lace instead. It gives it a more fancy look. I decided on the TV495 balloon sleeve without the flounce. I wanted the flounce, but I didn't want to buy any more black taffeta. So, on to the pattern!
I cut my usual size and did my usual alterations. Nothing new there. I have really found my groove with the armhole area. This bodice is very comfortable and I can move my arms freely, no binding. The bodice goes together quickly with zero issues. It is fully boned. I use German plastic boning except on the back curved channels. It saves a lot of time. Once I got the bodice all together and made the buttonholes I moved on to the sleeves.
TV495 Big ass sleeves:
View 4, no flounce. I admit I was a bit confused by the whole outer sleeve and 2 piece fitted sleeve lining. Once I figured it out though they went together quickly. The worst part is gathering all that fabric/netting and fitting it into a teeny arm opening. So not fun. My outer sleeves are lined with netting and also have a netting header. With the silk taffeta I get a lot of poof and I like it. I decided since I had so much fabric to deal with I would pin and then hand baste the sleeves in. Pins are the very devil. And ouch.
Some notes: the outer sleeve seam matches the side seam. The inner sleeve lining front seam matches the notch on the lower front of the arm opening. If that makes any sense. Also you attach the outer sleeve to the bodice first (with much pain and pokes from pins). Then you will need to attach the sleeve lining to the bodice. The sleeve lining head will need to be gathered as well. Just not very much.
All in all I really like this dress. I feel like the 1890s styles are flattering to my figure. Also I like the black and magenta combo. I feel pretty oh so pretty!
Buckaroo Bobbins blouse/dickey.