Every so often I come up with a plan to make something pretty darned cool. My last project on that scale was the electric corset, previously I’ve done such things as my Mary Poppins outfit or my Sweden Dress.

This time, my project is TV410: an 1873 polonaise made in some frankly awesome fabric.

20170125_210941This particular project was one that actually has a lot of parts to it, and technically you could say that every item I have made since the start of the year has been part of this particular project. Technically, that’s correct: this is the sort of outfit that really needs a proper corset, the proper bustle, and a decent petticoat or two. To be fair, most of my previous creations could have used those too, but it’s taken me this long to actually reach the point where I felt confident enough to take on all of these projects in order to *have* the basis for this sort of thing.

At New Year I went to several sewing workshops run over the course of the Steampunk New Year event in Leicester. I picked up a load of tips from people who I really respect with regards to sewing and ways of making all of these sorts of things. Honestly – it kind of gave me the push I needed.

The only sewing I ever was formally taught was in my DT lessons at school between the ages of 11 and 13, and since then I’ve kind of wandered along doing my own thing, and learnt a bit from the internet. That’s all well and good for some things, but eventually there’s a point with every skill where you need just a little bit of a hand from other people, even if that advice is to iron your flipping fabric properly ( I HATE ironing) and wear the right foundations.

Anyhow, at the same event, we also went sari shopping along one of the roads in Leicester. I bought a couple of pieces of fabric which are going to form part of my partner’s new waistcoat as well as a couple of off-cuts. Fast forward a few days, and I decided to take a quick look online at a few sari websites. I came across one which was selling George fabric on sale, and among the fabrics was one that completely blew me away… for £15. Bit pricey for a metre, I thought, but hey – I guess I can make a bustle panel or something out of it!

Slightly blurry, but you get the idea

The Fabric arrived. There are at least 5 metres, and it’s even more dazzling than I could possibly have imagined. I also instantly know what I want to do with it, and so spend the next few days looking for patterns: nothing suitable on the big pattern company sites, so I take a look at a couple of the others I’ve heard mentioned. That’s how I came across Truly Victorian and their amazing patterns. Through them I also discover the Laughing Moon pattern, to give me the necessary shape, and the rest is history.