The original concept for my dress was based on a fashion plate (the striped gown on the left), which I thought would look great made from a deep blue and cream striped rayon in my stash. I even had a lace that looked great with the fabric in the stash. However I was a little concerned about the shape of the skirt. I loved the band of horizontal stripes at the bottom but in all the experimenting I did on the skirts for my ETD evening gown I found that with my curvy hips and tummy a true hobble skirt or wasn’t the most flattering on my body. (Which is frankly why I went for a fuller skirt on the EDT dress.) So I was at a bit of a standstill on this outfit as I pondered what I wanted to do.
I looked around at other styles and dresses from this period but I kept coming back to that fashion plate. Then I found this gown from the Indiana State Museum (via Tumbler) and squee-ed with excitement. It solved all the problems I was having with the skirt by giving me both the dress from the fashion plate and a fuller skirt.
I went back through my images files and found some more dresses with the elements of both the fashion plate and Indiana gown, all in different combinations. Clearly I was onto something!
My biggest problem was needing another fabric for the full bottom skirt. My stash yielded nothing helpful and neither a look at Jo-Ann's offerings (surprise, surprise!). I thought about trying to do the top skirt with horizontal stripes with the bottom with vertical stripes (since I couldn't do horizontal stripes with a flared skirt). I pulled out the fabric to drape it on the dressform and see what I thought of that idea and realized that the stripe was printed and the "wrong" side of the fabric was plain blue. I already had the perfect fabric for the under skirt! Laaaaaa!
I'm still not 100% sure how I want to treat the bodice (do I want it blousy like the fashion plate or fitted like the Indiana gown? With the chevron braces of the Indiana or the little lace collar of the fashion plate? Or what about the cross-over bodice I'm seeing so much of in the other dresses?) but I'll figure it out as I work on the mock-ups. I'm going to construct it the same way I did my evening bodice, with a boned lining so that is what I'll be working on first...
Oh and yes there will be a big hat. A very big hat! :>