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Rate the Dress: Red ribbons, 1884

I’m very sorry for completely dropping the ball on the blog for the last two weeks.  Some unexpected things came up in the run-up to Costume College, and blogging was one thing I just didn’t get to.

So, quite late, the total score for the Lucile lingerie frock: a rather disappointing 7.5 out of 10.  Too many of you thought it was a bit limp, and had slightly weird design features, or was just lacking in overall oomph.

This week’s Rate the Dress is partly inspired by all the amazing Victorian costumes I saw at Costume College, and partly carrying on the neutrals with ribbons theme of the not-so-popular Lucile lingerie frock:

This 1884 House of Worth 2nd-bustle era gown many use three textures of silk fabrics (faille, satin and organza) in the same serene shade of stone, with touches of cream lace, but the deep red ribbons, rather than the sweet pastels of Lucile’s confection, provide colour and contrast

Like the Lucile gown, Worth’s reception gown combines many different forms of textile manipulation, but the overall effect is one of sculptural stiffness and structure, rather them delicate frothiness.

What do you think?  Within the range of Worth gowns, is this one of the House of Worth’s total winners, or won where they didn’t quite win the fashion sweepstakes? (because even Worth had off days, or garments where the client’s design requests added combined with the designer’s vision in less than ideal ways).

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

Meet the Scroop Rilla Corset – the perfect WWI era corset pattern!

Meet the newest Scroop Pattern: the Rilla Corset, a historically accurate World War I era corset pattern that is easy and detailed enough for even the total corset novice to tackle.

The Scroop Rilla Corset Pattern

Buy it here!  

The Rilla Corset pattern came out of my search for the perfect WWI corset pattern for my Fortnight in 1916, and the realisation that what I wanted in a corset pattern of the era simply didn’t exist as a commercial pattern.

The Scroop Rilla 1913-1921 Corset Pattern

The Rilla Corset is based on an original PD Marvella corset by Belgian corset manufacturer PD Corsets. The Marvella was one of the best-selling corsets worldwide in the second half of the 1910s, making the Rilla corset the most accurate representation of what the average woman wore during the period, and the perfect base for WWI and early 1920s costuming.

The Scroop Rilla 1913-1921 Corset Pattern
With extensive instructions, and advice on achieving the correct fit for the era, the Rilla was designed to be an easy make for sewers with some corsetmaking experience, or a good introduction to corsetmaking for the moderately advanced sewer with no previous corsetmaking experienced.

The Scroop Rilla 1913-1921 Corset Pattern

Inspired by the way corsets were sized and sold in the 1910s, and the most common alterations that I help students to make when teaching corsetmaking, the Rilla comes in two waist-to-hip ratio (hip flare) size sets.  The ‘Average’ size set has a 13” difference between waist and hip, and is best for those with a natural waist-to-hip difference of 9” or more. The ‘Slender’ size set has a 10” difference between waist and hip, and is best for those with a natural waist-to-hip difference of less than 9”.

To make it easy to see the detailed lines and all the specific design features of the pattern, the Rilla is divided into three size packs:

Size Pack A: 30-38
Size Pack B: 36-46
Size Pack C: 44-52

The overlapping sizes of the size packs means that you’ll never be stuck with your measurements halfway between pattern size options – which always seems to happen to me!

The Scroop Rilla 1913-1921 Corset Pattern scrooppatterns.comLike all Scroop Patterns, the Rilla features detailed instructions and illustrations, and has been extensively tested on real women’s bodies, so you can be sure that while it is perfectly historically accurate, you will easily be able to get it to fit you perfectly.

The Scroop Rilla 1913-1921 Corset Pattern

But wait, there’s more! Since the Rilla launched during the Scroop Patterns Indie Pattern Month sale, it’s on SALE!  For the next 24 hours until the sale ends, you can get 10% off the Rilla Corset, and every other Scroop Pattern!

Scroop Patterns - 10% off with the code IPM2017



A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress

A cheater super-full 1916 petticoat

I’m making progress on my romantic historicism 1916 evening gown.

Harpers Bazaar 1916

The under-bodice is totally finished:Harpers Bazaar 1916 evening dress

Harpers Bazaar 1916 evening dress

Harpers Bazaar 1916 evening dress

My biggest concern about this gown was how to create a petticoat to support the width of the skirt.  The bell-shaped silhouette of 1916 was so high fashion, and lasted for so short a time, that there are very few extent petticoats to use as a guide.  There are lots and lots of examples of petticoats to create the more common A-line silhouette, but the bell-shape is harder to source.

There is this wonderful petticoat from a 1917 issue the Paris Journal of Fashion, and it’s on my to-make list, but I think I’m going to need to try a couple of versions to get it right, and I couldn’t find the right fabric.

Undergarments, 1917

I was getting a little frantic, and then I realised that the solution to the petticoat puzzle was right under my nose – in my UFO pile.

A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress

I’ve had this 1950s petticoat schedule for a re-make for a while. The construction and finishing is beautiful, and the petticoat fits me width-wise, it’s just almost 3″ too short in the bodice, which puts the waist round my ribcage. Ouch!

So, I cut off the bodice, added a side placket, and bound the bodice with bias tape.  I want the skirt to sit on my hips, rather than at my natural waist, so it doesn’t add any bulk there.

A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress

Once I’m done prepping the petticoat I’ll put pink ribbon through the beading lace on the petticoat.

A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress

A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress

If you’re thinking that the petticoat doesn’t seem that full, you’re right, but wait until I starch it!

In fact, it’s currently in the washing machine as I write this, getting pre-washed in preparation for starching.  Fully starched, it will hopefully do a good job of supporting the lower fullness of the evening dress, and the organza underlining of the upper skirt should create the upper fullness.

Bring on the poof!

A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress