My Blog » Finished Victorian Naturalist Blouse and Skirt

Finished Victorian Naturalist Blouse and Skirt

Way back in September, I finished the blouse for my Victorian naturalist, but because I’m lazy it took me almost 2 months to make the buttonholes and sew on the buttons. This is what happens when I don’t have a deadline. ;)
The blouse is made from one layer of striped cotton voile, flat-lined in cotton lawn, and trimmed with black and white dot cotton lace. The buttons are vintage glass I found on eBay, and I think they are as perfect as could be! The black detailing picks up the black on the lace, and the flowers add a “naturalist” touch.

When I posted the inspiration picture for this blouse, I thought it looked familiar. Then I remembered that Ageless Patterns sold a copy of it. The pattern was cheap so I took a chance and ordered from them. This was my first order with the company and it was about what I expected – a hand drawn copy of the pattern with no instructions or description. Since I feel that I am an advanced enough seamstress to handle that kind of project, I didn’t mind so much. But I definitely wouldn’t recommend the patterns if you aren’t familiar with the style.


I tried to make the blouse work for me, but after three muslins, I gave up and switched to my basic Victorian block. That idea worked much better! The pattern was just much too large overall and the drop shoulder came down much too far. I have a narrow frame and shoulders, so I’ve run into this problem before. In the end, it just made more sense to start over. I did use the pattern for the collar shapes, and that was really the only part of the blouse that had me stumped. For some reason it took me a while to wrap my brain around the idea of how the collar was supposed to work. I admit, I haven’t made very many things with collars, but in the end I got it to work. The front lapel is attached to a band the runs around the length of the neckline and once it is attached the back remains standing while the lapels fold over. It’s kind of neat. I do wish I could have found a better way to finish the front ends of the collar, but in the end it works.


I went back and added a ruffle to the skirt and I love it! The more I looked at the skirt, the more I thought it needed the ruffle to push it into the earlier style that I wanted. It just looked too 1880s without the ruffle. Now that the skirt, blouse, and sash are finished, the outfit is really coming together. I only have to make the hat and finish up the accessories for it. The hat will probably be straw, trimmed with the plaid silk taffeta and white silk gauze for veiling. I also want to make some sort of satchel or back to hold all the neat accessories I bought. I need to do some research and see if I can find any period examples of what I want. I’m thinking something with a shoulder strap and lots of little compartments to hold my samples and tools.

Posted: 11/14/2011 8:16:25 PM by Aubry | with comments
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Project Details

Victorian Naturalist