Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #2 ~ Tucks and Pleating

The challenge for February was Tucks and Pleating.

I love pleating and I love tucking so thought that this would be pretty easy to do. I wanted to make a dress for both Anne and Benjamin and utilize tucks for skirt decor and pleating to control the fullness at the waist. As it turned out I didn't have time to get Anne's dress done (a bad cold swept through all of us and my poor girlie was laid low with an ear infection) but I did get Benjamin's dress finished!

This is actually a pattern I made for Judah back when he was a little guy. I think this pattern is seven years old and I was so happy to find I still had it, tucked away with all my other patterns. It saved me a lot of time with draping and I could get to work quickly.
Judah's dress from way back when. Seven years ago! Wow. Time flies!

I did modify it for Benjamin by lengthening the bodice a little. I eased the bodice to a piped edge, then pleated on the skirt. I tried it on him and it looked bad. So bad. After seeing how bad it looked I swore off sewing for the rest of the year. That resolution lasted a day or two and then I sighed, picked up the dress, ripped it apart and resewed it. This time I shortened the bodice, added a piped waistband and repleated the skirt into tinier pleats. I tucked the bodice to fit instead of easing it and I sewed down the tucks for about an inch above the waistband for a more tailored appearance. 

The adjustments worked beautifully and I could not be happier with the end result! To be sure, the dress *just* fits him now and I am pretty sure I'll be making him something new before the season is up, but at this point I'm just glad to have successfully completed this. We have an event late next month and if he is able to wear it for that I will be well pleased. 

The fabric is a lovely lightweight but tightly woven yellow and black plaid cotton. I bought this years ago before Benjamin was born thinking it would make a nice shirt for David. He wasn't terribly fond of the bright yellow so it sat on my shelf for a long time. Yellow is Benjamin's color so it was perfect for this project. I have a little bit of the fabric left.  Just enough for a light jacket to go over this dress. In late April the weather may be cool (or hot) so layers are always good. 

We went outside and down the hill to the creek on this lovely day and Benjamin had fun splashing in puddles, chasing the cat and beating the ground with sticks. I tried to get some good pictures of his face but he never likes to have his picture taken so it was hard to do. Here are some of our better ones. 


What the item is: A basic mid 19th century childs dress

The Challenge: Tucks and Pleats

Fabric/Materials: cotton

Pattern: my own

Year: late 1850's-mid 1860's

Notions: thread, two buttons

How historically accurate is it? quite. 

Hours to complete: about 6 if you count the initial failed attempt

First worn: today for pictures

Total cost: fabric was stash, but it was super cheap when I bought it. So, maybe $7-$10?

1 comment:

Thank you for your lovely thoughts!