1860’s pictures and a new plan


Check it out! Two posts in one week! Whooooo!!


So I took a bunch of pictures of two of my current projects last night and thought I’d post an update. This isn’t really a dress diary but sort a halfway-there post. First up my brown Cotton day dress.



From these two pictures you can sort of see the form of this dress. It’s very simple. Slightly shaped coat sleeves with a pleated bodice and a pleated skirt. The pleating pattern that you can really see best on the back picture is repeated around the dress. It’s not hemmed right now but I’m going to put in a facing and bind the hem with black cotton twill tape.


You can see I haven’t done a proper dogleg closure here. Instead of a slit I have left some extra fabric that will be pleated to one side and secured by a hook and eye eventually. I’m also planning on facing the skirt-bodice seam with natural cotton tape for neatness and strength and to allow me to finish the edge of the fabric in the opening. I always like to finish my seams as though the garment will be undergoing heavy washing, even if it never actually does!

I’m thinking I might raise the waist seam a tad, maybe half an inch? If you can enlarge the picture on the left take a look and tell me if you think I should. I think I’m short-waisted a bit – apparently even for my self-drafted patterns!

Next up a picture of the aqua silk day bodice.


(That’s not the actual skirt btw, just some fabric I tucked around my hoop to sort of give the impression of what it will look like eventually)

Pictured here are the chemisette and sleeve set and of course the bodice proper. I wasn’t very pleased with how the chemisette drapes in the end. I just used poly-cotton stuff and the frill at the neck is far to stiff and the fabric pulled all over the place when I sewed the tucks. I might re-do it some day but in any case it’s wearable now! Similar criticisms for the sleeves. The original fashion plate had these immense bouffant sleeves which I basically did not have enough fabric for, nor do I think it would have draped properly for if I had. I’d starting to think that maybe the fashion plate was attempting to show some kind of light but stiff silk. Thin taffeta perhaps? In any case the day bodice is done, see proof above.

A new project (of course), Regency!!

So some back story. I’m thinking about trying to break into reenacting. I honestly don’t know what it’s like but everything I’ve read and seen makes it seem like a lot of fun! I need some excuse to wear the clothes I make! That being said, the war of 1812 200th anniversary is coming up so that would probably be period to explore, thus a new regency outfit!

The inspiration image:


I like the one in the centre. I’m not sure about the pink but I do like the ruffle at the hem and the relative simplicity of the dress. I’ll probably make a dress in this style, with the addition of some removable long sleeves, the apron and some kind of chemisette. (I do have a bit of silk/cotton blend leftover hmmm…) Oooooo and maybe a fun bonnet too! I’m not so sure of the pink though… I’m going to research cotton prints and see if anything appeals to me

I do have fabric for a new set of stays. I’m going to make something like these. I tried a mock up of a set of mostly flat-fronted transitional stays from Jill Salen’s Corsets (page 26 if you have a copy) and it was an epic failure. Not nearly enough support for my well-endowed self and it pulled in horrible ways on my upper back making it hurt even in the mock up stage! So that was quickly scrapped and I moved on. After reading about Sarah’s fitting troubles and finding them similar to my own. I’m going to give this version a try. I think it will work better.

I already have a light cotton chemise but before I do a weekend event I’m going to want a new chemise for every day I’m there. I might make a linen version as well… Some day that is not today.

On the school front much better news from the Dean of Arts about the Medieval Studies program. She has assured the faculty that the student’s may not even feel the administrative changes although there are still going to be fewer classes of bigger sizes but that was inevitable no matter what course of action was taken. Still it’s good news.

I totally have a French midterm tonight and I am clearly procrastinating.

Whew! Long post, kudos if you made it through!

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