This is an afternoon/evening type dress from what is known as the Victorian era in the 1800's.

I love studying histories from around the world, and have always been interested in making things from the past. My inspiration for this particular project came while I was watching the movie Romeo and Juliet at school. I thought "Hey, wouldn't it be so cool to make a dress like that?!".

This dress is not meant to be a historical replica, and it also not meant to conform to any specific fashion from any particular time period. Although it is definitely similar to fashion during the 1800's. My dad has always told me fashion is what everyone else wears to fit in, but style is something you create for yourself that defines you. This is my first time making something this big without a pattern.

A final word before I begin; costumes.org has thousands of great pages and links for sewer's of every variety. I found many wonderful websites and patterns, both historical and modern, through costumes.org that inspired me and helped me on my way towards becoming a better sewer.

Step 1: Materials

This is a rather expensive project. My materials cost approximately $50, and it took about 14 hours to complete. I started with 10 yards (3 dark brown and 7 light brown) at a 45 inch width. You need a lot more fabric than you might think because of all the Victorian drapes, ruffles, and, of course, the bustle.If you need help constructing a bustle I have published a bustle instructable, but I'm sure there many other interesting bustle making resources out there.

I generally wear a corset with this dress. There several great corset making tutorials on instructables, and the internet in general, if you want to make one.

You can use just about any fabric that suits you fancy, but I used 100% cotton calico.

This project is quite challenging. I would only recommend it to someone who is really familiar with sewing, especially if your not using a pattern. Because I wanted to create something totally unique and am too cheap to buy an expensive pattern on the internet, I had no pattern. This was extremely challenging.

So, you will need...
  • fabric (3 yards and 7 yards)
  • thread
  • lace ribbon (for edging)
  • ribbon (for lacing)
  • small eyelets
  • a bustle
  • sewing machine (optional)
  • a corset (optional)
  • determination and patience
If you're good with pattern making or familiar with the concepts, try out the Tudor links free patterns, they are from actual period pieces and though they really expect you to know your stuff, they can be an invaluable tool when trying something like this.<br><br>http://www.tudorlinks.com/treasury/freepatterns/index.html<br><br>

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