Friday, July 12, 2013

Making a Victorian Blouse for a Movie

I recently had the opportunity to make a Victorian blouse for my husband's film.  The film is titled "In His Steps" and is a modern day adaptation of the classic of the same name by Charles Sheldon.  Even though the film takes place in the modern day, one of the characters, Jasper Chase,  is an author and in the middle of writing a book that takes place in the 1890's.  My husband, Zack thought that showing a scene from Jasper's book in the film would also be a great way to homage the time period of the original book.

Naturally that meant making period costumes!  Unfortunately, our budget did not include buying an authentic pattern.  Our Art Director, Carol decided to make the skirt and underskirt, so I could concentrate on the more visible in the film blouse.  First thing to do was go through my supplies.  I had this really pretty wide lace that I found right off and really wanted to use.  I also found some other narrow laces, but those didn't end up working out.  Carol found me some white calico at Joann.

Next was to come up with a style.  These were my inspiration images found searching Pinterest.
I really liked the lines of this first one, and tried to replicate them as close as a could with the base pattern I had on hand.  And the second one below gave me the idea of what to do with the lace.  And also that the sleeves didn't have to be super full.
And here's the pattern I used for the bodice and neckband.  I raised the neckband two inches, and put a single line of gathering at the waist in the front and center back similar to the first inspiration image.  For the sleeves, I used Sense & Sensibility's Regency dress sleeves with the extra fullness option. Before sewing the sleeves to the bodice I pulled up the gathering stitches, tied them in place, then based the lace over them.  I was trying to give the sleeves the appearance of being fuller than they really were.  But it didn't really work.

So I bet you're ready to see my finished product now right?  Well, let me warn you that it is by no means an authentic representation.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  Zack says that any historical discrepancies can be attributed to Jasper's lack of research into the time period.  I can go with that!  Also, I did not do the final ironing of the blouse.  If I had, there would not have been creases on the sleeves.
Rachel Winslow (Laura Seabrook) & Jasper Chase (Samuel Carr). Photo by Mary Roe.
This first picture is the only full length picture I have of the actors.  And they had already changed out of their period shoes!  All well.
Photo by Mary Roe.
This one shows the gathering on the front of the bodice the best.  Since these pictures were not taken to show the work of the clothing, I didn't get any of the back.
Photo by Mary Roe
Our lovely actress, Laura Seabrook.
Photo by Mary Roe
I hope you enjoyed this!  Please let me know what you think of it.  And be sure to check out the movie's website too!

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