Thursday, January 19, 2012

Victorian-ize a Blouse

I have found a quick and easy way to modify a normal blouse to make it look more Victorian and work better for my steampunk costumes. I've done two versions now so here is my tutorial for how to steampunk a blouse. 

I start with a very structured button-up blouse.  The style was to wear blouses that looked almost like you were wearing a jacket.  I really liked a lot about this blouse, all except the turned down pointed collar which just doesn't look very Victorian at all. 

Start by flipping up the collar and cut off as much of it as you want to.  I have cut both of mine just above halfway. 

Then starting on one side tuck 1/4 inch of the raw edges to the inside and pin them all the way around.

Sew right along the edge with a machine or by hand. 

Now the collar will stand up straight giving it the feeling of a period blouse.

Me in Paris.

On my other blouse I tried to get the ruffly collar look of the Victorian era. 

Here was the collar previous to my mod.  

I cut this one down halfway as well.  To make it ruffle a little bit I pinched the fabric of the collar about every 3/4 inch and sewed little pin tucks--just sewing as close to the edge as possible to make the fabric pinch together-- alternating on the inside and the outside of the collar fabric.  I did this along the center line of the collar--not sewing the tuck all the way up to the hem.  This was enough to make the collar ruffle a bit.

Obviously there would be better ways to actually sew a Victorian blouse, but this is an easy way to mod an existing blouse to look more Victorian without needing to buy any other fabric or expend much effort at all.

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