Some costumers can draft there own patterns, I envy them. I do not have this skill and have to search for commercial patterns that will help to create the right look for my costume. Luckily enough there are some very good patterns available. Some of my favourite patterns are Laughin Moon and Truly Victorian.
(l) Riding Habit, ca 1883 from Truly Victorian
I didn't like the look of the riding habit available by Truly Victorian but as I had decided early to create the look of an riding habit but not a real riding habit this wasn't to much of a problem.
The foundation of my 1885 costume will be the underwear I made for my 1860's costume, for more information about that costume visit my website A Victorian Wardrobe. It consists of a chemise, drawers, a corset and a petticoat with bustle. Which is made, in white cotton, by Victorian Elegance with TV 101.
I must admit that I feel a bit like a centaur in this picture...
These patterns I have purchased, again from Victorian Elegance , to make my riding habit style, 1885's outfit
TV460, 1885 Cuirass Bodice. I will make the "Jacket" bodice with full length sleeves first and hopefully later I will have enough fabric left to make the "Evening" bodice with ball gown (puff) sleeves.
TV261,1885 Four-Gore Underskirt, which I will make plain (without the ruffles) and wear without the back bouffant. As I like a "cleaner" look better and it is more in keeping with the riding habit style I have in mind for this costume.
TV362,1884 Wash Overskirt. I can "up"or "down" this outfit by simply adding or removing this overskirt. I intend to make it for use with the ball gown bodice to be worn as the evening variation of this costume. But if it the overall look with the jacket bodice becomes too strict or too boring I only have to add the overskirt to change the look.