As such, I didn't quite finish the cotton voile overgown yet; that'll be for its next, real wearing! A bit of my inspiration and details, then I'll spam you with pictures...
My main inspiration was Waterhouse's Windflowers:
The gown's made of silk dupioni from SilkBaron - which is not really period for either medieval or late Victorian, but it's the cheapest silk I could get and comes in so many pretty colors! And I really wanted silk. The bodice and sleeves are lined in cotton broadcloth, and the hem is faced with cotton as well. It's mostly machine-sewn, except that I left myself very small seam allowances to flat-fell everything, so I did the felling by hand, as it was easier that way.
I started with the pattern for my natural form late-1870s dress, and just took out a side-back seam, and fitted it more closely, to be worn sans corset. I even used the same sleeves, with a bit of tweaking! I deliberately wanted it to be more akin to late Victorian construction than a proper medieval kirtle - something a 19th-century lady dabbling in the "artistic" movement might have wanted to wear.
(Although the only photographs I could find of real Victorian/Edwardian women in "pre-Raphaelite" dress? They looked like they were wearing bedsheets. Very voluminous, very unappealing. I decided to stick with fantasy in portraits, thanks!)
|I made it slightly un-Romantically short in front, but Fonthill has a lot of steps, so I wanted one less tripping hazard!|
|And I didn't intend to have a train that long, just a sweep...but then it came time to hem and I couldn't bring myself to cut it off! What was I just saying about tripping hazards...?|
|I get a wee gap right at the under-bust point, but as there's no boning or stiffening in the front, I can't keep it laced any tighter or the edges start buckling. No worries, I'm wearing an 18thc shift underneath!|
|And I did buy extensions for proper swanny long hair, but I decided not to bother with them for this little shoot. When I wear it to a real event!|