1884 Gown: Draped Over-skirt and Swiss Belt

I know I said the blouse (or what I now know is called a shirtwaist) was next up, but I decided to finish the skirt first, so that I could have more time to do a little more research.  I've learned that there is something called a Plastron, that was very common during the time, and I might be leaning toward making one instead of a shirtwaist.  More on this later.

And here, at last, is the finished skirt.  The draped over-skirt pattern from Truly Victorian was easy to read, and to put together.  The only problem, was that I wanted the pleats to be higher up on the hip than the pattern called for.  The pattern also didn't have the narrow v-shape in the front that my original inspiration image did.  Actually, I found that as I was altering the skirt, the higher up I made the pleats on the side, the less of a v-shape I got out of my fabric.  Ultimately, I should have used a longer piece of fabric to achieve the deep v-shape  But I was concerned about not having enough fabric left over for my jacket, so, in the end, I sacrificed the long v-point.  I'm content with how the front of it looks though.

I drafted the Swiss Waist, using a brown cotton velvet, and a cotton duck for the lining, to give it strength.  

The original inspiration image didn't have any view of the back of the skirt, and the description was minimal.  So, I was totally guessing at how to 'puff up' the back.  I found THIS image (which is dated as 1888, but I'm skeptical...it looks earlier to me) and it became my new inspiration for my over-skirt.  The above pic is what the back of the skirt looks like straight out of the pattern.

But, playing around with it a bit, I was able to do this to it.  I'm not sure which I like better.  Do you have a preference?


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