|The Met, 1835|
I can't really account for how the sewing bee got in my bonnet, but last Wednesday I just got that bug. I raided The Stash for some red spotted fabric Debbie had given me ages ago, and pulled out an old Simplicity pattern, and decided to work up something that would go with my "Gettysburg" Victorian Side-Lace Boots.
The pattern is Simplicity 4551, one of the Martha McCain "Civil War" patterns that is now out of print. At first glance it's a rather generic mid-19th c. century frock that's kindof-1830s-kindof-1840s-kindof-1850s-kindof-1860s, but upon closer inspection, and in trying to decide just what decade my new dress would be, I noticed that one of the sleeve options (B) was a gigot sleeve. With the right support, that sleeve would be huge and fabulous, and that gave me my time period - the 1830s.
|A gigot sleeve - that upper curve could actually be bigger, a full half-circle, but this arc made a lovely pouf|
|Neckline cut down and piped.|
|Trying on the bodice without a corset, just to see how the sleeve looked.|
|Adding bust pads into the bodice, to help smooth the line over the corset, and fill out the space created by dropped shoulder seams.|
|The organdy petticoat adds tons of lightweight volume, especially with the ruffled hem. It was a b*tch to put together, but worth it.|
|The gown petticoat over just the organdy petticoat. The gown petticoat is 5 yards of cotton.|
The dress is *almost* done. I have the cuffs to hem and add closures to, and also the front closure to do. I opted to keep the front-closure for ease of dressing solo, even though all the 1830s dress I studied close in the back. It'll be hooks n' eyes, to keep the front closure as "invisible" as possible.
|The gown nearly complete. I added another cotton petticoat over the organdy one (it's sticking out at the bottom, needs shortening) and it really helped with that '30s silhouette. The contrast belt will be finished with an antique brass buckle.|
|The back profile is quite fun. The finished look with the chemisette collars laying over the shoulders should complete that inverted triangle silhouette of the '30s in a flattering way.|