Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Truly Victorian patterns TV400 bodice and TV263 Imperial skirt Victorian Saloon girl dress

Ooooooooo....That plaid! This bright plaid silk has been in my stash for almost 2 years. I have been aggressively stash busting in my last few projects. It has felt so good to use what I already have.

I am both working and attending a steampunk event next month. Mostly working so I won't be in costume. However for the hootenanny (Saturday night 21+ party) I wanted something Victorian, easy to wear and fun. I turned to my favorite TV bodice the TV400. Love this bodice! I have made it 3 times so far. The fit is great and it is not too fussy to make. I highly recommend this for a costuming beginner new to Truly Victorian patterns. The other reason I like this is it covers both bustle periods. Early, 1870s and late 1880s. You can use other sleeves on it as well. I also find that on my figure type (generous bosom, large ribcage and thick waist, small hips) the high over the hip cut is more flattering. I feel like it give me more of an illusion of having fuller hips. And helps enhance the hourglass shape that I don't quite have.

The bodice:
I have already fitted so I just jumped right in. I am not a good plaid matcher. I just don't have the patience for it. I managed to match it at the back seam and the front closure. The other pieces I cut on the bias and let them do their own thing. I did use the short puff sleeve from TV460. I cut the neckline an inch lower to show a lil' more bosom. Not too much though, that is just not me.

The skirt:
I have made the Imperial before. It is a nice skirt. I was looking to keep this simple, no overskirt. I also wanted it shorter than a traditional Victorian skirt. Cuz I am tarting it up a bit. I took quite a bit off the length and added a pleated ruffle. In the front the skirt hits about ankle length. The back has a slight train that hits about an inch from the floor. I also used the Imperial skirt to whip up a quick petticoat for this outfit. I used a red/white stripe cotton and black organdy for the ruffles. I finished the waist with a drawstring. I am wearing this over the Imperial bustle and a bustle pillow.

This outfit is fun and easy to wear. I quite like it and the colors are so bright and friendly. Pardon my hair. I just pinned it up and slapped on some feathers for the pictures.

Truly Victorian 400 bodice and Imperial skirt.

Ha! Black and white feather blob the size of my head. 

 Awwyeah. The back seam match looking good!

Ooooooo that petticoat!

TV462 Tail Bodice and TV263 Imperial skirt Victorian Bustle Dress 1880s

Because I was in need of a fantastic purple bustle dress for an upcoming event. The Vampires Ball in Portland Oregon. I wanted something that was properly historical but still could be worn to a more non traditional event. Costuming takes time so I want things that are versatile. 
This is the second time I have made this bodice. The first time I was a novice at costuming and had never worked with a TV bodice before, just skirts. I would say get a couple of her bodices under your belt before using this one. TV400 is a good one for a beginner and you can use it for both bustle eras. 
I highly recommend this pattern. I made the open necked version in purple silk taffeta. I used my normal size and did my normal adjustments. This bodice is easy to put together and the pleats are not difficult. Just look at the diagram and read the instructions. When you make the pleat markings I suggest marking them on the right side of your underlining and the right side of your bodice lining, if you are lining the bodice. That way you can always see the marks and everything matches up. I did contact TV and asked if the puff sleeve from TV460 would work with TV462. She said yes. That is the sleeve I have used here. Such an easy sleeve to do! I also put a nice ruffle of lace around the neckline and on the sleeves.
Side notes:
My skirt is the Imperial skirt. As you can see I used it as a foundation and did my own thing. I am wearing the Imperial bustle and a bustle pad. I slip the bustle pad into the top of my bustle and it keeps the skirts from weighing it down. Hence the nice 1880s big bustle.
The flowers I made from various colors of lining fabric. I found a tutorial on YouTube. Yay for tutorials! They don't take long to make and have become sort of a guilty pleasure for me to make. I like that you can use inexpensive lining fabric for these. Because you use an open flame to curl the petals you have to use synthetic fibers. I tried a few different types.

Costume Satin: Underwhelming. A bit too heavy. Even the lightweight cheapy stuff was meh..
Poly Organza: Underwhelming also. A bit to springy and didn't curl as nice.
Chiffon: Huge PITA. Slippery.
Thin poly lining fabrics like China Silk: This particular brand works the best IMHO. I tried some other lining fabrics and they were ok, but not as nice as China Silk. Red has been the toughest color to work with so far. Something about the color causes it to blacken on the edges. Even if I hold it the same distance away as I do the white or pink. You can also use tulle but you don't need to put that near a flame.

Flower close up. And feathers, gotta have feathers.