Mourning skirt detail.
My projects,  Sewing

Making a Victorian Mourning Dress: The Skirt

This autumn’s big project is the making of a Victorian mourning dress. This will be a series of three or four parts and in the first part, I’ll make the mourning skirt. This dress has been something that I have wanted to make for ages and it works nicely for Halloween.

I found this nice and simple 1894 pattern from the online shop called Ageless Patterns. The shop is a bit hard to navigate, but all the patterns are actual historical patterns except that they have seam allowances and grainlines and some other helpful markings added.

I think the dress would have been pretty modest at the time of the publication. The sleeves are much less puffy than what the period magazines describe as fashionable. The only decoration is the looped soutache trim at the bodice edges and the three rows of soutache at the hem of the skirt. I asked the owner of Ageless patterns to double-check the date of the pattern just in case!

For the fabric, I chose Italian suiting wool that I bought cheaply from the factory remnants section at a local fabric store. When I got back home, I started to look at the pattern image more closely. What is that trim on the bodice and didn’t I just see something very similar at the shop I had just left?

So, of course, I had to get that trim as well! I would have thought this kind of looped soutache, which was specifically mentioned in the instructions, wouldn’t exist anymore, but I’m glad I was wrong. It was very crushed and out of shape so I needed to starch it before using, though.

Here is the video of the making of the mourning skirt:

The next thing to make is the bodice. That will be more complicated than this fairly simple skirt. So, subscribe to follow along!

See you soon and happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

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