Summer Sewing Continued

The Progress of my Civil War dress....

The Dress:
This dress is supposed to be late 1850's-early 1860's looking. The fabric is a very sheer and breathable cotton that I purchased for $.75 a yard at Wal-Mart. It's a very pretty grey that you can see different shades in the threading. It's worn over a self-rigged 4 bone hoop bought from (i'll have another post about rigging one of these hoops later). The bodice has front closure of hooks&eyes and will be fastened to the skirt with hooks&eyes attached on the waistband. I've not decided yet whether I'm gonna add trim to it yet or not?

This dress is not to be an "authentic reproduction", of which period techniques are the only that are used. I am just after "the look" using what I have to make it. I've based my dress off of tons of pics I've snagged on the internet. So far this dress has only cost me about $8 in materials (hooks and eyes, fabric, thread, bias tape, etc) and around a week of time.

So, since drafting my pattern I've managed to put together the bodice (well for the most part). It's proven very interesting. My original pattern I made was for only one dart on each side of the bodice. BUT... after looking over many pics I've snagged over the internet, I noticed that I only have a picture of 1 dress that has that type of construction. All of the pictures I have looked at have 2 or more darts per side. So that had to be changed

I've never drafted a pattern, or even made a dress before. Soooooo, this is quite an adventure. My first problem I ran into, was my form is slightly smaller than I really am. >:{ (disgruntled face)... So, it looks great on the clone, but is quite snug when I put it on. Another one, is although I cut the pieces out with over an inch of seam allowance, it's miraculously just barely fitting together with the rest of the pieces. AHH! At the moment I'm trying to make it all fit together without having to make another bodice altogether by adding an extra inch to the middle front seam. I think it will work. But I'll keep you posted.

The skirt I did not draft myself, I modified a discontinued Butterick pattern (no. 6694)that was dradfully inaccurate. I added 4 inches to pieces 17 and 19. After I had sewn all the pieces together I added a number of pleats to make it much more accurate. I have one box pleat in the back to try to create a bustle effect with directional pleats leading to the front. I've yet to hem it, but I plan to use iron-on hem tape, so no seams will be seen. I reinforced the waistband with a random piece of 1-inch thick bias tape. The waistband is going to have a hook&eye closure and opening disguised by a pleat.

*My review of the pattern*
Great for someone as tall as I am (5'2''), but anyone who is taller than that would have to add more length to it, and anyone who's waist is more than 24 inches will have to add more than just 4 inches to pieces 17 and 19, if the same amount of pleats are desired. All in all, the pattern worked well with what I was doing with it. :)

The overall look of this dress is pretty good. It looks like it could definitely be in a picture... and that's what I'm going for. If you have a suggestion or comment I'm happy to hear it! ex) sleeves, trims, other style bodices etc

SUGGEST AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

AlohaAroha said...

I love the dress! The shape is spot on, and the grey colour is very elegant and serene. If you do trim it, please, please please pretty please keep it subtle and use black (instead of going all crazy and rasberry pink and yellow like me!).

I would just keep the one dart in front. As long as you have one example of it you can call it historically accurate!