Suggestions for multi size dresses

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jewels
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Suggestions for multi size dresses

Postby jewels » Thu May 05, 2016 7:13 am

Hi Heather, I hope you can help me with this. I've been asked to make 5 to 6 circa 1890 dresses for a historic house tour to be held this Christmas. I assumed I would come and take the measurements of the ladies involved, pick a pattern and make the dresses with fittings. The problem is that they told me that they weren't sure who would be doing the tours so they basically want small. medium and large. I told them if they want something period authentic with bones, linings this would be hard to do also considering that these patterns are not standard sizes. I believe these women are all shapes and sizes and heights so I'm at a loss as to how to this can be done. If you have any suggestions on this or a pattern that could be adapted please let me know. Thanks so much.
Heather
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Re: Suggestions for multi size dresses

Postby Heather » Thu May 05, 2016 9:23 am

These types of groups are the hardest to work with. They want easy stuff that looks great, but don't want to wear corsets or petticoats, and want it all for $20. At least, your group is going 1890s, so you can get away with a skirt and blouse instead of a fitted bodice.

The skirt should be pretty easy to make adjustable. I would go with TV291 - 1898 walking skirt. I would make the back without the pleats, with a long waistband. Then add a drawstring inside the waistband a the back only to pull it in to whatever size is needed. Depending on the size range you need to cover, you could get away with only one skirt for everyone. If you have to cover a wide range of sizes, then you might only need 2 or 3 size skirts. This is actually a historical way to make up a skirt, though I suspect it was used more for petticoats than actual skirts.

With a blouse, like TV494, you can do a similar idea. Instead of a fitted waistband, put in a drawstring instead. The rest is somewhat loose fitting to start. You could make up the blouses using every other size, in the range that you need. For example, sizes E, G, I, K, L. Err on the side of too big, and I think you will be fine. People are used to overlarge modern clothing, and they won't know the difference.
jewels
Costume Afflicted
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:23 am
Location: Linden, New Jersey

Re: Suggestions for multi size dresses

Postby jewels » Fri May 06, 2016 5:44 am

Thanks so much Heather. I agree with you. I don't think they understood that these dresses can't be made s,m and l and still be authentic. I'll take your advice, let them know and hope for the best.
Julie

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