Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Red Plaid Curtain Plan Revised

I was quite discouraged in my last post when I discovered that the gorgeous red plaid curtain set I had bought on clearance was half as much yardage as I had originally calculated.  I had wanted to make a big, Christmasy 1860s crinoline gown, which calls for eight yards of fabric.

Tartan Plaid Silk Taffeta Dress, c. 1871
This meant I would need four total sets of curtains.  I have one.  However, inspiration returned when I was browsing my blogroll, and found The Dreamstress' recent post about her plaid 1880s skirt.  Suddenly I realized that my red plaid would match a deep red taffeta dress that I bought off the sale rack in the bridal store where I work:

Which I bought specifically because the pleated trim around the hem reminded me of a Victorian bustle-era skirt!

The dress had been languishing in my closet for months, because I had been unable to find matching taffeta to make a draped overskirt.  Originally I had planned to pair the dress (as a skirt) with a frilly, creamy, gauzy blouse.  However, I should have enough plaid fabric to make an overskirt and matching jacket!

First I had to revamp the taffeta dress a bit.  I removed the zipper and lining, and let out all the seams as much as possible, since I want to use the full length of the dress (it was ankle-length on me) for my new floor-length skirt.  Fortunately it was a couple sizes too big for me already, so I was able to get enough girth for my hips to fit where the waist was supposed to be.

Then I put it on my dress form inside out and pinned in the top to fit to my waist.

I sewed up the seams, tried it on, pressed it and put it back on the dress form, right side out this time.  Then I draped my curtain fabric over it, just to get the effect of the plaid with the taffeta.

I think it'll be beautiful!  Now I just need to find a pattern to use.  Any suggestions?


  1. Ooo, that really does match perfectly! That curtain fabric is fabulous, I can't wait to see the finished dress!

  2. Thanks Megan! I'm looking forward to working on it. :)