Saturday, November 23, 2013

Green Plaid 1860's Dress for Winter Quarters

Last week we had the opportunity to attend an event at a local park and I was quite excited about going! However, I was sorely disappointed when I tried on my dresses and found that they no longer fit very well - I have lost some weight with this pregnancy so far (due to extreme morning sickness) and decided I needed to make a new gown!

The problem was the time - I had about three days in which to get one made! (Lesson: Never wait til a few days before an event to try on your outfit!) I made a complete mess of my sewing room in my chaos and stress to churn this dress out but I did get it done the morning of the event and was so glad to have a nicely fitting, warm wool dress to wear to the living history.

It is a very simple dress. I had much grander plans for this fabric when I first bought it but one must adjust their priorities when time is short. I draped a new bodice pattern and the only extra effort I put into the bodice was the design of the sleeves.

I took a basic coat sleeve and slashed and spread one side of it to gather into the piped seam between the front and back sleeve. It is a subtle style but does seem fancier, somehow, than a plain sleeve.

Tucks to create faux curved back "seams" on the bodice back, and a full pleated skirt. The waistband is topstitched to the bodice on the top and piped at the bottom edge and the skirt top edge whip stitched to the bodice just inside the piping.

I put a hem facing of scrap cotton on the skirt - which I was very glad of! It was quite muddy and my hem was filthy by the end of the event. Thankfully a gentle wash got out the dirt on the fashion fabric and the hem facing took the majority of wear and staining! I was so glad I did take the extra time to put it in.

Darted bodice. It was fun to match the plaid. I made a quick white collar to baste in at the neck and wore my mourning brooch. Grampie has been gone now for just over six months, so my period of mourning is over. . .though I do not think I will ever *not* be in some degree of mourning for him. I wore my necklace of black glass beads for these photos though I did not wear the necklace to the event last week.

It was nice to get back into historic sewing. I've taken an (unplanned!) break from sewing for a while now and it was good to get the creative juices flowing again, even if I *did* have a very short deadline!