I’ve used a four-hoop slip and a bum roll for display purposes, both of which will be necessary to achieve this dramatic silhouette.
The Bodice is designed to achieve the period-correct conical figure (no darts or princess seams) by pressing the chest and stomach flat and squeezing the bosom up above the neckline. (Unfortunately, my dress form can’t “squish”, but hopefully you get the idea!)
The primary fabric is a garnet-colored 100% cotton damask fabric. It is a spectacular color and the fact that it is cotton is a huge plus for outdoor or warm weather events. The bodice neckline is embellished with elegant braided trim that perfectly coordinates with the gown. The shoulder treatments (epaulettes) are caps stuffed with a bit of fiberfill and embellished with more of the braided trim.
Seven pieces of coated steel boning have been sewn in strategic places throughout the bodice, and two more pieces of poly boning have been sewn along the eighteen machined grommets in the back. Nine pieces of boning will provide a nice push-up and cinching effect. There is also a privacy panel (shown in the back view photo) to cover any gaping between the grommets. Gold aiglets have been applied to the black grosgrain ribbon cording for ease of threading and a nice finished look.
The Split Overskirt
Has been embellished at the opening with black and gold jacquard fabric with a woven harlequin design, and more of the braided trim. Three panels have been painstakingly gathered into a three-inch waistband. The waistband utilizes a hook and eye closing system. It will be serge hemmed to your desired length, ready for final hemming by your tailor.
The Detachable Sleeves
Are made with the black and gold harlequin fabric and are lined with a black linen-cotton blend. Th sleeves are detachable and tie with black grosgrain ribbon (crimped with aiglets) to d-rings which have been placed inconspicuously inside the bodice armholes. I’ve sewn elegant antique gold buttons and elastic loops at five places along the opening of each sleeve. The sleeves are designed to allow glimpses of the blouse worn underneath.
Is a wedge-shaped piece of rich ivory chenille fabric with a gorgeous woven design in gold. It has a drawstring waist, has been serged on the sides, and embellished with black venise lace along the bottom. Serge hemmed to your desired length.
The Chemise Blouse
Is made with bleached 100% cotton muslin. The cuffs are and neckline are embellished with half-inch white venise lace. The elastic wrist is easily adjusted from the inside. You can pull the blouse neckline up so it shows above the bodice neckline, but I choice to tuck it in for the pictures. (Personal preference.)
The Modesty Panel Is a rectangular piece which perfectly matches the bodice and is designed to lay under the cording. This allows the wearer to loosen the cording without showing the underlying chemise and also allows for more size options.
The Bodice Jewels
Were custom made for this gown by Alexandra’s Adornments. They are fully wire wrapped and made with crystals, glass pearls and cabochons. The bodice jewels are completely wire wrapped so they will never come apart while wearing them. They utilize rare earth magnets rather than pins, so will not puncture your bodice fabric. My pictures do not do these beautiful jewels justice. They are included.