Finishing = Upper Class
A high society Victorian woman would have put many trims on her dresses to represent her wealth. Trims would have been put on top of other trims.
Self Trim refers to embellishment made from the same fabric as the fabric(s) in the garment. Examples are: piping, patch or cornet/parasol shaped pockets, appliqués, pleats, ruffles, ruching, fabric flowers and bows.
Other trims can include soutache braid, gimp, tassels, Passementerie, glass beads, embroidery, ribbon, smocking, feathers, fur, silk or chenille fringe, velvet, satin and lace.
When creating a new Victorian gown, stay away from anything that looks polyester. Also, do not use polyester lace that would be used on store-bought costumes, as they usually use the cheapest available.
Doing your own homework is very important when building your outfit. Pinterest is a good resource for period gown research. Highly recommend Jennifer Rosbrugh’s Pinterest page on Victorian Trims. Study fashion plates from the Era. A great book resource is “Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail” by Astrida Schaeffer.
If you are buying historical textiles online, the wording on Ebay can be tricky. The Victorian Era was very broad. The words “vintage”, “revival” or “Victorian-style” should be red-flags as they mean it’s not from the Victorian Era. Ask the seller to date the item.
The Victorian Roses, continually strive for a more authentic appearance in our costuming. Keep researching! Keep learning!