Friday, January 10, 2014

...Bosoms and bayonets?

Well, I had a bit of fun with this dress.  It has gone about as well as my first attempt at making a period correct Civil War dress.
I got the fabric from the Oak Forest 1812 event the first year it happened; I think I got a whole bolt for $10 or so, and it's come back as several incarnations from aprons to linings.
 So.. My first RevWar dress.  I can't say that I'm very fond of it.  It does certainly need some alterations, especially to get rid of those unsightly wrinkles but on the whole I'm pretty satisfied.  Also... I will definitely be wearing a kerchief.  Got to keep the girls under wraps, you know.
The dress is entirely hand-sewn, with most of the work being done over winter break.  The back is pleated en fourreau and my unintentional slightly angled cutting gives it a really rad chevron affect.

Just the facts:
Fabric:  Cotton? Linen? Natural fiber of unknown and unknowable origin.  Lined with linen, sewn with linen and cotton thread.
Period:  Roughly 1770.
Pattern: JP Ryan, I believe.
Time it took:  I started cutting the day break started, with a few days off in the middle, so about a week and a half over all.
What I learned:  Always check to make sure that your fashion fabric and lining line up.  The sleeves need to be re-done, and the front taken in significantly (as you can see, the closure is off a bit.)  Also, I don't know what the drafters were thinking with the sleeves - the pleat was evidently supposed to fit around the elbow snugly, but it hardly comes down past my elbow at all and instead makes that unsightly bump.  I think that I'll just cut the pattern off above the elbow for greater practicality and movement anyways.

Over all, though, I'm pretty happy with my first dress for W&M!


  1. Good job, Frieda! :) That dress is pretty! I agree about the kerchief *cough**cough* But very pretty! :D yeah, I think the sleeves could use some remaking.. I have never made a revolutionary war dress... but I've seen A LOT of them :) My older sibs used to be involved with a reenacting group :)

    But good job! Very nice :)

    1. Welllll, why not let my proud and noble bosom make its presence known? I'm quite proud of it (independent of the fact that I did nothing to encourage it, aheh)
      But thank you. It will help guide my future work.

  2. Oh I love the fabric! You've done a real nice job, I like the way the back is done especially. As you go along you'll learn how to fit these styles better, I'm sure in no time you'll look like the Queen of England. Can't wait to watch your sewing journey progress in a new time period!!!

    1. Thanks for your vote of confidence, friend! Forwards, forwards, always.