Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Dress of Yellow Lawn

I made up the yellow lawn I got earlier this year in anticipation of this summers Gettysburg trip, as well as for something relaxing to do after the 1940's experiment. (Love the vintage styles but it is SO FAR out of my comfort zone!) 

This dress went together so quietly and easily. Really no problems whatsoever and I was surprised when I realized that yes, wow, it's done and wearable. That was easy. I didn't even have to think about it. I guess that is one good thing about sticking with this time period for over 15 years. Construction gets easier. I know if I try vintage style again it will eventually become easier. But this was a nice project to relax with before I tackle something new again. 

This dress is inspired by the popular Peachtree Mercantile Dress Pattern as well as a few original gowns, including one in Costume in Detail, that have the bodice with gathering at the shoulders and waist. While the Peachtree dress has only a partial lining that goes under the arms, I made my dress with a half high lining so it can be worn without a corset cover. Since my material is so light and rather sheer I don't want my corset showing through. 

The lining is of white cotton recycled from a thrifted sheet. The hem and waistband facings are from the same sheet. 

To keep things simple for myself I made the bodice and lining as one, except for the lining neckline and darts. The lining is attached to the outer bodice at the side seams, shoulder seams and the waistline. To create the extra width for the gathered shoulders I slashed up my basic bodice pattern through the dart lines, spread the pattern pieces apart an inch or two, and redrew the shape. Then the extra just gets gathered back to the original lines of the pattern at the shoulders and waist. Easy.

The outer bodice has no fastenings and is pinned shut at the base of the V neckline. For these pictures I just used a straight pin; a brooch could work but the one I have is too heavy for this material. So a straight pin is fine. The lining closes with hook and eyes and the skirt has a dogleg closure. 

The skirt is cartridge pleated and it was convenient to use the checks as spacing guides for the pleating stitches. They came out fairly large, so the pleats are softer and bigger than on previous dresses. I still like it. It adds to the overall loose, airy feel of the gown. 

The sleeves are full bias sleeves with a little bias ruffle at the top to help conceal the chemise sleeve worn beneath. They hook closed at the wrist. These sleeves are SO COOL. They catch the slightest breeze. 

Despite all the good things about this dress I still am not sure if I like it. I mean, it's pretty and it's lightweight but it's definitely not my favorite dress. Maybe it's the color? From a distance this dress looks like a pale blob and I guess I've grown to prefer dresses with very sharp, defined patterns. But the paleness goes with the style, maybe. It will be good for summer and very comfortable in the heat. I'll wear it. But I'm still not sure if I like it yet. Definitely not in love with it. 

I had the chance to wear this dress at Camp Dennison, which was the site of a training camp and hospital during the Civil War. Though most of the buildings are gone now there are still a few remnants of this interesting history there and close by is a small cemetery. The particular home in these photos, the Walschmidt Homestead, was built in 1804 and was used as headquarters by General Joshua Bates. 

For fun, here are some edited photos I have been experimenting with in Photoshop. While I definitely need more practice I was so excited to get these pictures looking a little more like real period images!

Hope you all are having a blessed June! Much love!


  1. I think it's quite lovely, and perfect for summer! The style is perfectly suited to the fabric, and looks very pretty on you.

    1. Thank you! I really like how the fabric goes with the style as well. It's nice to have the fabric used up and not stashed anymore.

  2. I love the yellow check & think it looks beautiful on you. Good job on the photo effects too!

    1. thank you! It's fun playing around with the different layers in photoshop!

  3. It's beautiful! Very fresh for summer, and I love the different shade it takes on with the different photography! Were we solely relying on a 19th century image of this dress, we might presume it to be blue, or green, but certainly not pale soft yellow!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!