|The original, made last year.|
So you all think I haven’t been sewing…and you would be sortof right. Little bits at a time, little projects (that turn into massive projects), and here’s one of them.
See the results under the cut ….
My pseudo-1840s-whatever dress I made last year had some major problemos.
- The bodice overall was too long, so it pushed up and rumbled in the back.
- The front point was just bizarrely long, and took a wild curve off to the right.
- The collar was off-center
- The top of the bodice was too blousy
- The bodice overall was too big
- The cuffs….just weird
- And I never put hooks and bars on the bodice and skirt to keep them held together.
Originally I just thought I’d take in the side seams and cut the point in front a little shorter, then replace the cuffs and collar with lace, but then I went to eyeball some possible directions in Costume in Detail: Women’s Dress 1730-1930.
There were three gowns I liked…
|This is from the 1840s, my original intention for the gown. It has the pleats in front, and the wings on the sleeves. I like this dress very much, but I did not know what to do for the neckline. Flattering though it is, does one fill it with a chemisette, or wear a pelerine-thingy? Sacramento in September is hot, and the idea of wearing a pelerine just….no.|
|Dress 2 here is from 1859. The pleated front is similar to what I tried to do on my dress originally, and this example had the straight waist. I didn’t want to replace my sleeves with bishop sleeves, though, and all in all I did not find this as attractive as the other two choices.|
|Dress 3 is 1865-66, and just charming. It doesn’t have wings, but it does have decoration. It also has the slim, shaped sleeves, the straight waist, and the buttons I wanted to keep. And that trim is cool.|
The last is what I decided to go with. I wanted a straight waist, to keep the wings, and the sleeves, and to work with the existing buttons.
So I started cutting….
And here’s what I’ve got going so far. I cut off the point and shortened the waist. I took in the side seams, and also picked out all the pleats in front and replaced them with double darts on both sides (and they were MASSIVE darts!). I’ve ripped off the collar and cuffs, to replace with understated crochet-y lace, and added the brown pleated trim, as you can see.
|Trim inspired by the drawing – it’s not as deep, but has that same “yoke” effect. Overall the bodice fits way way way better. Cuffs are forthcoming.|
The cuffs are not done, obviously, they need trimmings, which will be the brown pleated plus the lace. I had not originally planned to put the pleat trim at the waist, but I ended up cutting the bodice WAY too short, so I had to dig around for a scrap of the plaid fabric, extend the waist, then cover my frankensteining. Luckily the “fix” is in the inspiration drawing :-).
This gown hasn’t been out this year, but I’m planning to wear it to Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento, the first weekend of September.
Now back to your regularly-scheduled historical shoe obsessing…