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Details about  Gothic Steampunk Victorian polonaise dress 1870s w lace trims by Susan Briscoe

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Gothic Steampunk Victorian polonaise dress 1870s w lace trims by Susan Briscoe
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Item condition:

Worn only a couple of times - in excellent condition

29 Aug, 2014 13:25:38 BST
Current bid:
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£7.00 Standard Delivery | See details
Item location:
Blairgowrie, Perthshire, United Kingdom


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Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on  26 Aug, 2014 21:07:37 BST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Condition: Used : Split the cost with friends
An item that has been previously worn. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
Seller notes: Worn only a couple of times - in excellent condition
Size: M/L Style: Dress
Main Colour: Black and white Material: Silk and cotton
Theme: Victorian Item Type: Complete Outfit
A fabulous dress based on a mid 1870s pattern (dress bodice cut from a Norah Waugh pattern in 'The Cut of Women's Clothes', with tips from 'The Ladies Treasury 1876).

I made it in the polonaise style, with a separate petticoat underskirt and polonaise tunic overdress.

The dress is made from striped cotton and was designed around the early C20th rayon embroidered lace panel that is down the centre front.  The bustle back is held in place by internal ribbons, as shown in one of the detail photos.  Most of the other trims are rayon lace or braid, chosen for their similarity to Victorian originals (which would have been silk).  The large bow on the back of the bustle is vintage silk velvet, probably c1900.  The buttons are from Duttons in York.  The bodice fastens with a hook and eye tape fastening up the centre front, and the embroidered lace panel fastens with hooks and eyes over that, i.e. the buttons are decorative, rather than cutting through the lace for buttonholes!

The underskirt is made from a heavy dark charcoal, almost black, silk, with a centre back pleat, trained skirt, velvet bands, ruffles, lace trim and a hook and eye fastening, onto a tape waistband.  It is quite heavy and drapes beautifully.  The silk is lined and there is a handsewn tape on the inside of the hem, to protect the lower edge when worn, plus a deep dust ruffle with a pinked edge inside at the back (you could add a 'balayeuse' or dust ruffle all round if desired).

I based the construction on Victorian originals, so the tunic dress is mounted onto a 'bodice' lining.  All the edges are zigzagged inside, so they won't fray, but the dress could easily be adjusted slightly in size due as it isn't lined in the modern sense.

Size - It was made to fit a UK size 14, 5ft 2in tall and worn over an Axford's 26in waist corset (not fully closed). 

Dress - bust 38in (the bust line is quite high, because it was made to wear over a corset), waist 30in, around upper arm 14in, back width across shoulders 14in.  The dress had two rows of eyes in the hook and eye tape that closes the bodice hidden under the lace panel, so there is a little leeway in fastening it.

Skirt - waist 29in, length at centre front 39in, length at centre back 50in.

I would definitely recommend wearing any polonaise dress over a corset, as the corset stops the underskirt waistband from rubbing. 

The dress was made for the Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival in 1997, where it won second in the main costume competition.  It has been worn twice.

Good luck bidding!

We will be visiting Wales in a few weeks's time and could arrange for the dress to be collected from Denbigh or Ellesmere Port - please ask if you are interested - or you can collect from our home near Blairgowrie.

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