I was inspired by Fabric & Fiction, who is making a Ravenclaw Bustle Gown right now, to make my own Hogwarts House Victorian gown. I was officially sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore.com (even though I wanted to be Ravenclaw), so of course I would need to make a yellow and black dress. Then last October, when this awesome checked silk taffeta went on sale for $6/yard at Fabric Mart, I snatched it up:
|I have five yards of the micro-check and ten yards of the one-inch check.|
I briefly considered going 1860s with this gown, as the checked pattern seems to have been more popular at that time than in the Bustle Eras. But I really, really wanted a bustle gown! So I started by reviewing the overarching themes of each of the Bustle Eras to decide which one I wanted to do. For a good summary, check out Historical Sewing's primer here: Bustle Era Changes - The Highs & Lows in the 1870s & 1880s
|This is also a good visual reference - from costumefashionhistory.tumblr.com|
Once I had my basic era nailed down, I basically copied Hannah's design method of focusing on the color scheme, animal, and personality traits associated with my chosen Hogwarts house.
|Screencapped from Pottermore.com|
Animal: Badger - Hmmmmm...
Personality Traits: Basically the nicest people you will ever meet; the Midwesterners of the wizarding world :p
Once I put those three elements together, the design began to coalesce rather quickly. My Pinterest inspiration searches came across several fashion plates featuring a mock-lapel look that nicely mimics the vertical lines on a badger's face:
So that's rather perfect. And I have a roughly 1-yard remnant of some black cotton velveteen that would work nicely for the lapels:
I haven't entirely settled on my design for the skirt/overskirt, but the bodice is pretty well set in my mind. Now it was time to go pattern shopping! Of course, Truly Victorian was my first - and only - stop:
Now all I needed was a solid, light-colored fabric (preferably silk) to use for the faux vest at the center front of the bodice. I ordered a couple of swatches from Renaissance Fabrics:
I think the Frosted Yellow is going to be perfect! Now how much to order? One yard would be great plenty for the bodice center, but should I get extra for an overskirt? And I want to make an evening bodice as well, but I haven't settled on a design for it yet. Would I want a solid yellow bodice? Or even a solid yellow underskirt to switch out with the checked one? Decisions, decisions...
I also haven't entirely figured out which checked fabric I will use for the bodice, overskirt, and underskirt. Should I keep it simple and just use one fabric for the whole thing? Or mix and match? Should the overskirt apron be symmetrical or asymmetrical? I think I need to start draping things on a dress form and see how they shape up. Wish me luck!