My last post recounted a fun event that I recently attended which explored the Victorian fascination with ancient Egypt. The event was unusual in topic, quite well done, and interesting, especially as I rather like ancient Egyptian history myself. I felt that I knew a good portion of the information in the lecture, but I also learned some new things.
I decided to leave my outfit for the event for this separate post so I could go into detail without getting too long winded. As sometimes happens, I committed just about two weeks before the event to having a new garment. A trained skirt! This event seemed very suitable–dramatic surroundings and no dancing being the biggest factors.
I had started a second, trained, skirt to go with my 1899 dress back in January, but it had languished at the point of needing hemming. Despite all the other projects also needing to be completed around this time, I decided to furiously work to hem the trained skirt so I could wear it to this event.
Success! The construction of the trained skirt is based on this gorgeous green gown at The Met. There is a side view of the skirt which shows just a bit of the under layers that support the hem. With that in mind, I scrounged for other extant examples of trained hem finishes and included them on my inspiration Pinterest board. This example, also from the Met, shows a clear view of the hem finishing on the inside of the skirt.
To replicate the wide and stiffened hem of the exterior I purchased polyester organza in a closely matching color and used it cut on the bias. The width of organza was folded in half to add an extra bit of support before being hand hemmed. The lining is hemmed with a bias band of an ivory cotton/poly blend that has a gathered section of lace machine sewn to the top edge prior to the hand hemming so the machine stitching doesn’t show. (Given that the whole dress is mystery fabric, I had no qualms about continuing to use polyester to keep the cost down on this project.) After hemming, I put the skirt on a dress form and pinned the lining and exterior together at five strategic points, then swing tacked the layers together. These tacks keep the exterior perfectly positioned over the lining.
All of the extra work to support the hem layers was worth it. Along with my super silk petticoat to support the skirt, they nicely support the train, allowing it to elegantly float behind or swirl around me with just a small movement. It was quite fun to swish through the lovely rooms at the Castle with a dramatic train without it being so long that it becomes a nuisance. I’ll have to find more opportunities to wear this fabulous ensemble!
6 thoughts on “1899 Elusive Blue With Train”
Oh how gorgeous is this gown and you!! Don’t you just love the hems of skirts? They are so very dramatic and beautiful and they are on the INSIDE of the skirt!! You did a wonderful job on this and I am so giddy with delight that you wore it to the Egyptian event! Huzzah!
Thank you! I do rather enjoy hemming, although this one was such a rush that it was less fun than usual. They are so important for having a nicely finished garment, too.
How utterly beautiful!
And that very last pictures revealing all the amazing details…perfect!!!
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Yay, I’m glad you appreciate the ‘artsy’ quality of the detail photo! 🙂 Thank you!
Finally catching up on many of your blog posts that I had missed while having a break from the world of costuming. The trained 1890s gown is timeless and beautiful, and look at how the mystery fabric drapes, especially on the train. It’s delectable. Love the body that 1890s dresses tend to have.
Oh yay! Thanks for taking the time to comment on this one. 🙂 I entirely agree that 1890s dresses are beautiful with lovely shapes. Delectable is an excellent word for them! Enjoy the blog catch up!