This week’s Rate the Dress dress is brought to you by my latest research and sewing deep dive. I’m obsessed with the big sleeves of the mid-1890s. I’ll show you the results of my research and experimentation in due course.
For now, it’s a slightly belated Rate the Dress – and an imperfect one. I’m having trouble with the ‘Comment’ function on the blog. I can see how many comments there are on a post. I can see the actual comments behind-the-scenes. Alas, however, comments aren’t showing up on the post so you can see what other people have written, and have a conversation.
If I can’t fix the problem we’ll just have an interesting experiment in which we find out what people think of a garment without seeing others reactions…
Last Week: a pink and green 1780s gown
Some of you liked last week’s dress, but no one loved it. Unusually for the 1780s it didn’t receive a single 10/10 rating. Everyone felt there was something not quite right: the colours too clashing, the proportions a little off, or the embroidery not worth the effort.
The Total: 7.1 out of 10
It’s a slight improvement on the week before, but hardly a stellar rating.
This week: an 1890s day dress in petrol blue
This week’s dress Rate the Dress is an upmarket, but not quite couture level, 1890s day dress.
It features a bodice with slim fore-sleeves in taffeta and large upper sleeves in silk velvet. The silhouette of the sleeves is made even more visually impressive by a matching velvet berthe collar. The collar travels up from the front of the bodice, falls over the sleeves, and hangs on either side of the back bodice seam. At the front it frames buttons which are both functional and decorative.
The fore-sleeves are decorated with widely spaced bands of velvet trim. The same bands are echoed on the skirt’s hem, forming its only trim. The strong horizontal lines are repeated in the back belt and in the standing collar.
The skirt is the slim, structured A-line of the late 1890s, and could easily be made from the Scroop Fantail Skirt pattern, with gathers instead of pleats and a slight train.
The gathers of the skirt are repeated on the low collar, and an additional note of softness is added to the dress through dual rosette on the back and front of the velvet belt.
It’s an overall play of severe and soft, all held together with a harmonious colour scheme in one plush fabric and one hard fabric.
What do you think? Is this an elegant and tasteful gown for a place and situation when wearing Worth would have been showing off?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10
A reminder about rating — feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment. Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting. It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.
As usual, nothing more complicated than a .5. I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment.