My entry is inspired by a cartoon from an 1869 edition of Punch Magazine. The cartoon was lampooning the exaggerated bustles which were coming in to fashion at the time. I have wanted to make this outfit for ten years, and I have had an original of the print on my wall for years.
The corset and the bustle were the first things I made. The corset was from a self drafted pattern, and the bustle is a pre-purchased pattern. They weren't meant to be shown, but I made them in black and yellow for fun. For the outfit I bought a silk taffeta. It took a very long time to source a real silk taffeta in yellow - it was a stumbling block I had never considered when I started the project. The trims are velvet, with an antique lace from the era. The skirt was easy to make. The overskirt wasn't too hard. I used wrapping paper draped on my mannequin while I had access to it over Christmas. I didn't manage to finish it properly, which is a shame. I will be doing that when I get the chance. The bodice is what scared me the most, and is why I hadn't attempted a historical replica before now. I studied original bodices from the early bustle era from my personal collection, and rather than following the instructions which came with the pattern I made the bodice the way the originals I studied were. I have chosen to share images of the construction because I put in a lot of effort and I think that this is what makes my entry special.
It was crazy to compete this year. There were so many people sharing their entries in the Foundations Revealed Members' group, and it made it really exciting to get to share the experience. I took a gamble and made a historical costume, which is really outside of my comfort zone (contemporary corsetry.) I feel like the gamble hasn't paid off in terms of standing a chance at winning, but I have learned so much from doing this, and it has increased my confidence tenfold. That is what the competition is about for me - every year I compete, and every year I can look back and see how far I have come in just a few months.