Last night, I finished the Victorian Blouse for my Brimsteam costume. It turned out really well, especially for my first attempt. The collar is very high, the ruffles around the neck and wrists are small and dainty. The points don't land right in the middle of my hand, but my husband and I both agreed that it added a nice touch to the blouse, so I'm leaving it that way. The sleeves are also a little long, but that also seems very fitting for the character. When I checked how the sleeves would look if the I shortened them, I didn't like it nearly as much, so I'm keeping the sleeves as they are.*
I did learn something new. Buttonholes. I've never done them before and I LOVE them. My husband showed me really quickly and gave me a 'heads up' on one problem my machine has with them. Now, most people with enough sewing experience will tell you that each sewing machine has its own personality. Since I'm used to my machine's 'issues', I was able to figure out how to get the buttonholes to turn out perfectly by the third buttonhole. :-)
I'm currently debating if I should make a tie like the design I drew shows or if I should make a cravat instead. I have experience with making cravats, and it would look very appropriate. Perhaps I'll just make both if I have the time. I really ought to just make the tie.
The funny thing is how young I look in the blouse, as if the high collar makes my face look more youthful. Really, I look like I could pass for a teenager. It also makes me look like I'm wearing make up with is pretty amusing too. I was a little concerned that the high collar and the plain front might make my face look too fully or my head look too big, even though that seemed to be the desired affect back then. A friend to me recently mentioned that she avoided high, closed front collars because of this. Well... I think it suits me and I'm glad I tried it.
There are a few changes I would make to the design if (when) I make another shirt in this style. The basic layout of the shirt is nice, but I'd want to tinker with the cut to make it a bit more flattering, especially on an hourglass figure. I would shorten the space between the shoulder and neck and I'd probably make the armseye (armhole) smaller and the shoulder of the sleeve smaller as well... maybe add a gusset instead. This would make for better movement, though I'm not sure how that would affect the overall look. The sleeves would be more tailored as well, perhaps with button closures n the wrists. (I do like me some wrist buttons.)
Above are pictures of the materials I plan on using. Obviously, the shirt material is already used at this point, but I figure I might as well (finally) post the images I took. The color scheme is very appropriate for a mourning outfit in the second or third stage of mourning. Next item to try to finish, the skirt and underskirt (petticoat).
As a side note, the gun in the pictures is one of the Nerf guns my husband is modifying for the games. So far, as you can see, it's looking pretty awesome. :-)
* I like to keep a more fluid outlook when I'm sewing. It's something I learned over the years, especially in art school. Sometimes, it's best to stay rigid with a concept, but sometimes it's best to be flexible. I tend to lean towards flexibility. My husband tends to lean towards rigidity. We balance nicely.