Monday, March 11, 2013

Peasants and Pioneers - Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge # 5

It was rainy, warm and pearl-grey yesterday. The birds were returning. I could hear them overhead. Some lighted in the wet fields, some in the sparse trees. The wind was full of wings. I was with the man I love and could smell the good smell of earth. Spring is coming!

He trod the grass in big boots; my shoes were soon soaked through with water. Melting snow and days of steady rain had saturated the ground and it was spongey. The garden was a great rectangle of mud.

Still! To be out after winter. It is a euphoric feeling. I found in the beds by the house small green things pushing out of the dirt; the ivy a mass of color flourishing at the base of the red brick chimney.

After last years drought it was a joy to see the puddles. An old friend of ours who stopped by in the afternoon told us that one month after the willows start to change color it is time to plant. And, he said, they began to change two weeks ago.

It is a happy time.


The Challenge: Peasants and Pioneers - c. 1860 work dress made of 3 yards of purple wool plaid. Dart fitted bodice, hand gathered skirt and two piece fitted sleeves (pieced). 

Fabric: wool 

Pattern: My own, based on mid-19th century construction and pattern shapes.

Year: 1855-ish-1865-ish. (unfashionable garment, so can work, theoretically, for a wider span of years.)

Notions: Hooks and eyes, thread.

How historically accurate is it? As accurate as I can make it. Hand stitching where appropriate and machine stitching with straight stitch on machine where appropriate. Period construction techniques and pattern shapes.

Hours to complete: Maybe 12?

First worn: Yesterday, in the rain!

Total cost: $12 for the wool fabric. The lining for the bodice, sleeves and hem facing were from the stash.


  1. I love those photos, they speak!

  2. I realise I never commented here. I really, really like your dress, but of course you know that already :)


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!