Saturday, July 27, 2013

A wool adventure

Ever since the Athenaeum I've been suffering from sewing burnout.  I just haven't wanted to do anything except sit and watch Supernatural and feel mopey about not being in 1860.
But no more - I've found a cure!  FABRIC SHOPPING!
I left intending to buy lining for my 1840s ballgown and came back with that, and some really lovely wavy repro 1860s cotton print for a new camp dress.  I can't start it, however, until I finish what I already have on my plate, so I buckled down, put on John Adams and worked until midnight finishing this baby.

And, like most of mine, it's waaaay too long.
My wool/silk blend middle class dress!  And I still need a collar for it (the one I planned on using was too short.)
Yeah, pay no mind to the hem malfunction...

It's just my usual darted bodice base with sleeves filched off of one of Elizabeth's Simplicity patterns.  I didn't have instructions or anything, so I just... wung it?  Winged it?  Whatever.  It hangs a bit strangely, but I think that the pleats are a great addition.

 I intend to put some sort of gimp or velvet decoration, but I haven't decided yet.  If anybody has an idea of what I should use don't hesitate to say!

And now, the deet shots...

 My first time sewing the closure so that the eyes were encased in the bodice itself, which made things a heck of a lot nearer looking because it eliminated awko gaps.
 The dress itself is a mixture of hand and machine sewing, and all the finishing is done by hand.  It's lined with a thick-weave white cotton, except for the sleeves, which are unlined.
One of the kind ladies at the Sewing Academy told me that it didn't matter how it looked on the inside so long as it looks nice on the outside...  Well, here's that in action!

Coming soon (ish)!


  1. Oh what a darling dress! I did my seams like that on the inside of the dress I've just finished,but I've never seen pleats that are loose like that on the inside...??? Maybe I just sew mine on wrong :P. It looks really nice though! And an 1840's! 1830's if for some reason one of my favorite time periods (even though I neither own, nor have sewn anything from that era), but I really like the 40's too. Can't wait to see it! And there's nothing like fabric shopping to cheer a girl up. Going to the thrift store on Wednesday, hoping to find some good sheets or re-purposeable (totally just flunked that word (I'm a horrible speller)) clothes and shoes :D
    Have fun sewing!

    1. On dresses I've had the luck to see up close the pleats tend to hang loose, and with a fabric as thick as this one I didn't have much of a choice in the matter, sigh. Silk is so much easier to compress, kind of like phyllo dough!
      And I ADORE the 30s! That's what got me into clothing. Big sleeves, big skirts and low waistlines and whatnot. I have the biggest history crush on Henry Clay so I made like 3 1830s dresses in his honor when I first started out, and two of them are even passably accurate! I was considering making a 30s dress out of my fabric, but it just seemed to perfect for a really simple 40s dress (silk duchess satin stuff.)

  2. I like your wool! Right now mine's sorta stalled out as I need to get material for the lining. (I cut my lining wrong!) But your dress is AWESOME! Enjoy wearing it! xD

    1. Thanks! I think it's my most successful dress so far in terms of comfort and lack of last minute changes.