It is incredibly enjoyable to create Victorian clothing, especially for those who appreciate the Victorian style. But what does the Victorian style entail, and why should one even consider making Victorian clothing?
The Victorian style encompasses the clothing and accessories worn during the Victorian era, which followed the Georgian era and preceded the Edwardian era. The latter part of the Victorian era coincided with the Belle Époque, symbolizing relatively peaceful and prosperous times. This prosperity was reflected in clothing styles, which were elaborate, with no bounds on the use of exclusive fabrics, embellishments, and accessories.
Why is Victorian Clothing Popular?
The Victorian style is beloved and periodically experiences surges in popularity. Elements such as puff sleeves, rich fabrics, and abundant lace are sometimes extracted and revived as trends. The style also evokes a sense of summery feelings, opulence, and luxury.
Moreover, Victorian clothing is particularly popular for use in Cosplay, LARP (Live Action Role-Play), and Fantasy events. The 'Gothic' style, for instance, shares similarities with Victorian attire, often characterized by black, gold, and red clothing accents.
In Cosplay, one can observe the prevalence of hoop skirts, puff sleeves, and multi-layered lace skirts. Additionally, 'historical costumes' are consistently embraced and cherished in the realm of LARP.
Victorian Female Forms
The Victorian style has always been adored by couturiers and renowned fashion houses. The extremely feminine forms are frequently incorporated, either as integral elements or as inspiration for new modern designs. The concept of feminine forms continues to serve as a muse for new creations in the world of Haute Couture, often associated with the use of exclusive, extravagant, and hand-embroidered fabric
Sewing Patterns, Brands, and Designers
The world of sewing patterns is increasingly focusing on Cosplay, LARP, and historical costumes. Some patterns may still fall under the categories of Halloween or Carnival, but there's a noticeable shift toward Victorian sewing patterns that have more versatility than just for festive occasions.
Brands providing Victorian sewing patterns include Burda, Butterick, KwikSew, McCall's, Simplicity, Bijoux by Laughing Moon, Fields Fabrics, Folkwear, Laughing Moon, Mediaeval Miscellanea, Sense and Sensibility, Suitability, and Truly Victorian. McCalls, Folkwear, and Sense and Sensibility offer the most extensive collections.
Types of Victorian Fabrics
While various fabrics can be used for creating historical costumes or typical Victorian styles, elastic and stretchy fabrics are seldom utilized as they did not exist during that era. Materials such as tulle (especially for undergarments and creating volume), sturdy fabrics like canvas, cotton, cotton blends, and unbleached cotton are commonly employed. Additionally, wool, wool blends, silk, satin, taffeta, silk taffeta, velvet, brocade, jacquard, gabardine, and embroidered cotton or silk are often chosen.
To achieve a defined waist, boning and corsets are used. In the Gothic world, leather is common for this purpose, but in the Victorian era, heavier cotton fabrics were prevalent.
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Making Victorian Clothing: But Why?
For many seamstresses, the clothing they create is often practical – homewear, comfortable skirts, and pants, or primarily children's clothing. Each seamstress typically has a specialization and may not deviate from it.
Creating Victorian clothing can be enjoyable because it might bring joy to someone else, particularly in the realms of Cosplay, LARP, or fantasy events. The Victorian style offers a unique and elaborate alternative to everyday clothing. Whether for a special photoshoot, a theatrical production, or a local event, Victorian clothing can serve various purposes.
It's also enjoyable to make something for oneself. A beautiful Victorian-style blouse can be perfect for a party or a special occasion. It's an opportunity to experience creating extremely large puff sleeves, a trend that emerged in 2020.
Stepping away from the usual creations, even without a specific purpose in mind, can be refreshing. Some sewing patterns require special techniques, offering a chance to learn and potentially work with fabrics that might not be used otherwise.
While Sewing Chanel-style often leans towards chic minimalism, sometimes it's fun to go all out and create something entirely different from your routine. Or, you can combine the best of both worlds through upcycling – transforming a shirt into a unique Chanel-style blouse.
The Victorian clothing style has much more to offer than one might initially think. It's not only a chance to learn something new but also an opportunity to work with different fabrics. Numerous beautiful sewing patterns from various brands and designers are available. So, why not create something beautiful for yourself or someone else!
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