Tuesday, September 22, 2015

1860's Work Dress Progress - Skirt and Finishing

The dress itself is done. I ended up sewing the hooks on late last night while baby Rose lay next to me on her blanket. Out of the fourteen hook and eyes to sew on, I got twelve done before she decided to start screaming. I count that a success. ;)

I still haven't made a collar, or cuffs or undersleeves. I have a few other things I need to finish first but a collar is such a simple thing to make, it shouldn't be too long before I have time to make one. I may or may not make the cuffs. They aren't strictly necessary and if I will be rolling up my sleeves most of the time anyway, not extremely useful. But the collar is a must have. 

I decided to pleat my skirt but left a little section at the center back unpleated. I cartridge pleated that area. This is sometimes seen on original dresses. It gives you a bit of wiggle room if your pleats aren't perfectly calculated and for me, I like it because I am not sure when I will be making another 1860's dress and this method shows what both knife pleating and cartridge pleating look like. 

The skirt was attached with the usual method of whipping to the edge of the bodice waistband, just under the piping. My dress won't close on the dressform but you can get a general idea of what it the opening looks like.  

The dogleg closure fastens the skirt at the side front and the bodice at the center front. 

I also made a pocket in one of the side front seams. I usually don't put pockets in the skirt but I thought it would be a very useful feature!

For the hem facing I used up the last bit of fabric I had left over from the 1810's dress. Not as wild a hem facing as I really wanted, but better than plain white! And it was white on one side, so didn't shadow through the hem. Thank you for the suggestion, Veysketh! 

I tried on the dress real quick and am really happy with how it has turned out. The hem just brushes the top of my feet so it will be able to be worn with just petticoats or with a small hoop. It felt so freaking awesome! One just settles comfortably into the familiar feel of it all. Yep, the 1860's will always be home. Even if I do like styles from other eras a lot better! It's me. 


  1. I love it! I'm thinking about making a dogleg closure tutorial, but it occurred to me that mine may be on the wrong side (it's the other side than yours). Is there a right or wrong side? When I read instructions on the left side, I thought it meant left as in my left, the left when I'm wearing it.

  2. Now that I think about it, I don't really think there is a right or wrong side. Closures could be on either side (bodices anyway) so I assume the skirt opening can be on either side? I don't really know! A dogleg closure tutorial would be great! Tricky things to figure out, for sure.

  3. Looks great! I'm about to start on my own but it's been years since my last one and I'm afraid.

    1. I was scared to make this one, too. I hate being out of practice. I'm sure yours will come out awesomely!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!