A Victorian Winter Wonder Land

“It will be just like a picture print from Currier and Ives…”
An unexpected snow fall,  “A Christmas Carol”, and antique Currier and Ives prints were the inspiration that fueled this photo shoot.

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It wasn’t supposed to snow in Georgia, and it definitely wasn’t supposed to stick and create a beautiful white blanket over the brown vegetation. So, when nature give you a perfect backdrop, you must put on your mid-Victorian garb to go play in it.
I went for an 1850’s look. What are the characteristics of 1850’s fashion you might ask? Well let’s start by going from head to toe.
The Bonnet: An 1850’s style bonnet is generally called a low brim bonnet, because it is low and close to the face. It generally frames the face and creates a nice round look. It almost creates a halo effect.
The Hair: My hair is parted down the middle and is gathered into a bun at the nape of my neck.

The Caplet: The caplet is staple of any historic wardrobe as if comes in many variations over the years. This variation that you see here is typical of the 1840’s to 1860’s. It’s not very full, but it is also not tight. It starts at the neck and falls to the natural waist line. There is fringe all around with a decorative corded closure. It is made of black wool and is lined. It kept me very warm.
The Dress: Sadly. the bodice is not very visible because of the caplet. This dress is a dark teal or a sea foam green. I used Truly Victorian pattern 446 for the main part of the bodice, and then I drafted my own pattern for the sleeves. They are tight to the elbow and then flare out. I found an original photo on Pinterest that was my inspiration. The fabric for the flare come to my mid forearm. Under the flared-out part of the sleeve, I wear undersleeves. The undersleeves tie right under my elbow and come to my wrist. I am also wearing a white collar and a black broach in the center of my collar under the caplet. I then used Past Pattern 700 for the attached skirt. The hem of the skirt, for this time period, should fall between 2-4 inches off the floor. I am a rather active person, and therefore hem my skirts 4 inches off the floor to minimalize tripping and it getting stepped on.

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The Muff: Muffs have been popular for centuries of fashion history. Here I made mine with fake black fur and a satin lining.
The Gloves: Gloves for this time period were short and generally did not go above the wrist.

The Underpinnings: I am wearing all of the underpinning that go along with this era, but since you can’t see them there’s not really a point in explaining them here. (That will be a future blog post, stay turned!) That being said, it is important to wear underpinnings in order to get the correct silhouette and “look” for the period.
This was a super exciting shoot for me because I had just received a very nice camera as a Christmas present…so stay tuned for more historical photo shoots to come in the future!!!

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