Sophie Hatter Dress- Part 3

Part 1: Research and Mockups

Part 2: Foundation Garments

Part 3: The Dress

This is the third installment of my Sophie Hatter dress progress! If you want to read about the initial pattern choices and making of the 1880’s foundation garments go and check those posts out first.


For the 1880’s skirt, overskirt, and bodice I used patterns from Truly Victorian. These were all done with a sage-green Kona cotton.

Skirt Review:

I started with the skirt, which was very straightforward and simple. I did the most basic version without a ruffle or a polonaise-style skirt. Then I moved on to the waterfall overskirt- which turned out to be the real heavy piece of this whole thing because it’s partially lined. In retrospect, I wish I had lined the overskirt with something lighter. The double layers of kona cotton made it very tricky to iron and it added a lot of weight.

This is the look of the finished skirt!

This is the look of the finished skirt!

Bodice Review:

For the TV460 1885 Cuirass Bodice I used the same Kona cotton as with the rest of the gown. I also decided that I wanted to do covered buttons that matched.

The bodice is the only part that I really deviated from. Right from the start I lengthened it about an inch because my torso is longer. This may have messed with the silhouette a bit and I’m going to consider that for future projects- I think a half an inch would have sufficed

I decided that I wanted to flat-line it for accuracy, but that ended up causing more conflict with the pattern than I bargained for. I used bias tape around the edges in an attempt to smooth over the flat-lining. The color was slightly off and I actually ended up liking that because it broke up the homogeneity of the gown.

As far as the fit goes it was good- and it was so tight that I kept losing buttons in my bust. I ended up adding more buttons to deal with some of the gaping and to diffuse the strain.

The sleeves fit great and I felt like I had plenty of range to my movements. In fact, so much that I was able to pick up my dog:

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