Apr 152011

Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch auf Deutsch.

Victorian Boarding dress
Or: What would Rose have worn if the Titanic had sunk approximately 40 years earlier?

I think that almost everyone knows this gown:

This is the gown Rose is wearing when boarding the Titanic.

I like that gown very much – the only reason why it’s not on my list of planned costumes is that I already made it in 1998 and since then it’s been very happy in my closet 😉

Recently I found that I still have a considerable amount of the pinstriped natural colored linen that was used for this gown – 20 yards to be exact.
Now – in my *life* I will no more manage (nor am I willing) to make so many Boarding costumes…

I have thought for some time what I could do with that beautiful linen. Dye it? Use it for lining? Just leave it in my fabrics closet?

Definitely not.

Then I stumbled over a gown in ‘Patterns of Fashion 2 – 1860-1940’, the one on page 30/31, to be exact – the original gown is in the collection of the V&A; a photo of that original gown can be seen here:

And I thought… damn… that would also have made a fine Boarding costume, if the Titanic had sunk in 1875 instead of 1912…

Then I had the idea to try and color the above shown sketch. I’ve used an image editing program, a picture of my fabric and this is what I came up with (side by side with a picture of the original gown):

Now – is that a fine Boarding dress? Most definitely it is 🙂 So mine 🙂

The ‘purple’ parts could be made of velvet, anything else in pinstriped linen.
I have resized the pattern and calculated that I will need almost exactly 9 yards of my pinstriped linen for this gown if I cut very carefully. This also means that I will still have a lot of fabric left when I have made this dress – a thought I also like a lot 🙂
Furthermore I will need 4 yards of velvet for the gown. This will have to wait a little, as I don’t have any velvet of this color at hand and will have to wait for a *very* cheap occasion to buy some *or* will have to save up some money.
The buttons will be covered with velvet or linen – depending on where they are placed, just as it was done on the original gown.
As you can probably see, I have added a sewn-on velvet ‘belt’ to my colored sketch so that the likeliness to the original Boarding costume is even more prominent.
I will also omit parts of the bodice, so that it’s not *that* high necked and I can wear a blouse and tie beneath it which will show along the neckline – another thing that will make my gown more likely to the original movie costume.

Well, and until I have saved up enough money for the velvet, this dress will just be displayed here so that you can see how easily a color design of one period can also work for another 🙂

  2 Responses to “Victorian Titanic dress”

Comments (2)
  1. I would gladely have bought some of those 20 meters from you 🙂

    • I can believe that; but fabric that’s entered my house only leaves it as finished costumes… or not at all 😉

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