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!

Love,
Sarah

21 comments:

  1. BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL Sarah!!!! I LOVE IT! oh it is GORGEOUS! WOW! lol I hope you're feeling better :( morning sickness is terrible I've heard! LOL

    Love,
    Ruth

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  2. Its beautiful - and I'm amazed that you made it so quickly! I've always loved these simple styles best of all, and you wear them so well!

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  3. Do you think you could post a closeup of the sleeve you described? That sounds like a style that I'd like to do for a dress at some point, simple but not plain :) Beyond that, I absolutely adore this fabric.

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    1. Hi Emily! Thanks so much! I love the fabric too. Green and plaid and wool is definitely a great combination. I added two photos to this post that (hopefully) show the sleeve treatment a bit better. I basically used a 1 piece coat sleeve pattern and enlarged the edge of the under portion of the sleeve and widened it a few inches, then gathered it to fit the upper portion of the sleeve, and piped the seam. I wish I had added a bit more extra fabric to the gathered part of the sleeve to make more gathers, so will remember that for next time.

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  4. Amazing that you did that in 3 days! Makes me think of Emma (not the Austen one) Beautiful dress!

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  5. I am in complete awe of your talents!!! Such a beautiful dress, and only made in three days?!?!?!??? Wish I could do that!

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  6. It's beautiful! One of these days I'm going to have to make a new dress. I'm just not as good at fitting them as I'd like to be.

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  7. Very beautiful and It look lovely on you!

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  8. This is so gorgeous! Like everyone else, I admire how quick it went together.

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  9. Absolutely gorgeous!
    I am myself in the 'morning sickness stage' of pregnancy, sometimes I find existing hard enough at the moment, and you sew this great gown in only three days... Wow!
    Didn't you have any problems with the corset? I can't have any pressure on my tummy, so I'm curious :)

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    1. Thank you! I am so sorry you are going through the morning sickness stage. Hopefully soon you will be feeling better!
      I find I have no problems with the corset. It is cut so as to be fairly unrestrictive over the hips/abdomen as corsets of this era did not really do tummy control or slenderize the hips at all. . .just firm the torso and support the breasts. So that works really well for pregnancy. Each women is probably very different when it comes to what feels comfortable for her when pregnant. There are extant stays/corsets from this era that have adjustable lacing over the torso so that the abdomen area can be tightened or loosened as needed. However for me I find my babies always carry quite low, so they don't really even get "into" the corset area til late in the pregnancy, and by then, I usually don't feel like going to events or dressing in period attire. ;)
      Congrats on your pregnancy!!!

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  11. Dear Sarah,
    A new favorite dress. The cut, the pattern in the wool, the simplicity, they're just perfect. I suspect you'll get a lot of wear from this one, as well as a lot of compliments.

    Feeling for you while you have morning sickness -- hugs!

    Natalie

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  12. Dear Sarah,

    First I want to congratulate you on your going to have another baby! I had missed the previous post where you wrote of your wonderful news! What a blessings! I am sad to hear of your morning sickness though....

    Second, I am so very impressed that you made your gown is so short a time! Truly and seriously awed and impressed! You are an inspiration!! Your dress looks so warm and cozy and looks like it will keep you toasty in the cold weather!

    Blessings!

    Gina

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    1. Thanks Gina! I admit I'm still getting used to the idea of being pregnant. I'm almost 17 weeks along now and Baby is due in early May. Time is ticking along pretty fast this time around.

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    2. My word but you look fabulous at 17 weeks! I remember being 17 weeks and I was not near as lovely as you!! May is a very lovely time to have a baby in think. My second and last was born in the spring and there is just something special about spring and all the lovely colors and new life! I will continue to pray for a very good pregnancy and or you morning sickness to lessen!

      Blessings!
      Gina

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  13. I love your blog, Sarah! Your posts are so inspiring! And you sew so beautifully and skillfully! :)
    I have just discovered your blog a few weeks ago. I read your profile description, and couldn't believe you got married being only a year older than I am now! This is so incredible :) Your kids are so cute on the photos on the right. Congratulations on having another baby soon :)
    God bless! :)
    Marie

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  14. Your new dress is beautiful!! I love the style and fabric. It looks so authentic, like a dress Louisa May Alcott would wear. : )

    May you have a blessed day!

    -Sarah

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  15. This dress is STUNNING and you look beautiful in it! The fit is amazing.

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  16. Wonderful sewing my dear. I particularly like the back and the way the curves give your back that natural look even through all that you would have to wear for underthings. :) Great job!

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Thank you for your lovely thoughts!