1865s Teal Evening gown (HSM 5/2017)

When all the underwear (almost all, I still had the chemise and a second petticoat left to finish), it was time to get started on the dress itself.

Since the dress was for my sister, it was she who ultimately took all the decisions on the final style, and I came with lots of suggestions, inspirations and different looks.inspiration sketch

We finally decided on one main inspiration Evening dress ca. 1865, From the Cincinnati Art Museum

Since the budget was particularly scarce on this project, we decided to cheat and use a set of IKEA curtains I already had in my stash for the dress fabric.It’s a thin polyester in a lovely dark blue/teal color that would be really pretty in a style like this.

1 pair of 2,5m x 1.45m curtains would require some really thoughtful cutting and pattern layout, but with some math and quick calculations I was fairly shore I could get the dress cut from the fabric (as long as I didn’t do any errors…)

I also recently ordered 5 m of silver sparkles and a few m of black lace which both would be perfect for this project. (So, not stash, but almost:-))

I started by drafting the bodice pattern using modern templates and my sisters measurements.
Then I did a quick mock-up that we tried on over her recently finished corset.

Lots of adjustments needed

Just to be sure I got everything right (and since I didn’t had fabric for any errors) I did another mock-up of the bodice.

After the last alterations was made, it was time to cut the fabric.
Only scraps left.

Then I got to work making the skirt.

Starting by marking and stitching the silvery sparkles (which I’ve already cut apart) on the skirt panels.

Then I sewed the skirt panels together, interlined it with a black cotton fabric that also would serve as lining and pleated the top to my sisters waist measurement.
not completely happy about the look of the pleats, I put it on my dress-form (over the new crinoline) to get a beter look. Something seamed wrong.
So I grabbed my books and read up on the period way to pleat the skirts to he waistband, and there I found the answer – by the 1860s they left the knifepleats of the earlier period for a few double box-pleats evenly spaced around the skirt. So that what I did.
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Then I attached the skirt to the waistband and after a final fitting cut and hemmed the length. I also moved  some and added some extra sparkles and stitched on a narrow black lace ribbon to the bottom edge.

Then it was time to get started on the bodice.

I started by interlining all the pieces in a strong black cotton twill, after which I stitched the darts and the pieces together. I added some bias tape and bones to the seams to make the bodice old its shape.The interior of the bodice

Then it was time to try the gown on my sister.

Don’t you just love how she matches the wall… 
Thank good for multiple mock-ups. The bodice (and skirt) fit almost perfectly (the wrinkles you see at the back will disappear once I got the center back bones in).

After some minor adjustments, I set the sleeves and the lining and got started on the eyelet for the back lacing.Here I ran into trouble. after almost 3 months of planing and making undergarments for this dress, I still hadn’t found any suitable lacing cord in a color that would work for the dress. I’d been to every sore in town, searched the internet, contemplated using black or even discard of lacing for closure all together, when I realized I might in fact have something in my own stash that would work.
Hurray! The odd colored cotton cord I’d got on super sale a few years back turned out to be the exact shade of Teal I needed – what are the odds? Perfect match! – Is this a sign my stash are to big?

Once the eyelets where finished I stitched down the lining, hemed the sleeves made a belt and added some black lace to the neckline.  

Then I got my sister to come and try it on for a (almost) final fitting, where we marked the skirt length, stitched the belt on the bodice and added hooks and eyes to the waistbands of both pieces to keep the bodice from riding up.
We also decided on how to accessorize, and to ad a piece of the same black lace around the sleeves and hem.

And since I want to submit this dress for the Historical Sew Monthly nr 5/2017 – Literature, I did some thinking on what book I would choose to make it fit. Then came the obvious answer – Victoria and her Court by Virginia Schomp (find preview from Google Books here).
Because who if not Queen Victoria would house a gown like this.

The Finished dress:

Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 5/2017 – Literature

What: A 1865s evening dress

How it fit the challenge: It’s a plausible outfit for one of Victorias many ladies in waiting, or even the Queen itself, as described in Virginia Schomps book Victoria and Her Court.

Pattern: I drafted my own after studying the 1865s dresses from Waughs Cut of women’s clothes and Arnolds Pattern of Fashion.

Fabric: 5 m of teal colored polyester curtains (2 pieces 250 x 145 cm each), 4 m of black sheets for lining and 0,5 m of black cotton twill for interlining.

Notions: Thread, Buttonhole-thread, 7 short bones, 1m black bias tape to use as bone casings, 1 m heavy interfacing for the belt, 1 belt buckle, cotton cord for lacing, lots of silver spangles and 7 m of black lace for decoration.

How historical accurate: The shape/look is right, but the construction, pattern and material are all modern. So maybe 4/10

Time: In total about 20 hours (on the dress).

Cost: Almost everything came from stash and/or was really, really cheap. I think I payed about 300 Sek (30 Usd) total for everything. But on a dress like this there really is no limit at what it could cost.

First worn: For photos on May 1 by my sister, and later for a ball on May 6 2017.

Final Thoughts: Both me and my sister are totally in love with this dress. I love how it’s so stylized yet over the top at the same time. The small bodice comparied to the lovely exaggerated shape of the skirt, and the subtle sparkle of glitter when it moves makes me very happy. I also had a lot of fun making it. Only problem is, now I want my own…

 

1850s Summer dress (part 3 – Bodice/finished)

Before I could continue on my 1850s dress bodice, I needed to decide on weather or not to do the gathers (part 1 & 2).

To help decide I posted the question n my facebook wall, and in my historic sewing class, and the answer was unanimous – Do the gathers.

With no time to argue, I got to work, testing the draping on my dressform.
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Using three gathering threads to test the draping on the dressform.

The shoulders being tamed and arranged by two treads of gathering stitches that later is to be hidden in the shoulder seam.
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I was not totally happy with the first try at waist gathers (using three threads) so I decided to re-do it using threads every 1-1,5 cm or so.
IMG_6763Testing the gathers.

Once I was happy with the technique I pinned and basted the lose front piece to the bodice, carefully matching the  tightness of the gathers to hide the darts.IMG_6767

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Then I pulled all the treads through and secured them on the back side, before I stitched the whole piece down using hidden slip stitches. IMG_6839You can see the right side being finished while the left still have all the threads hanging lose.

And then I left it for a few a few weeks, fully occupied by working on my sisters 1860s outfit, training for my big running competition and preparing for vacation on work.

Once I finished all the other things and finally gotten my (well deserved) vacation I once more took on the task of finishing the bodice.

With only one day left to work on the dress before it was to be used, I need to hurry.

20150612_105845_resizedThis is how I found the bodice once more the day before the event – When I decided to give it a try, and finish it.

With no time to lose, I pinned and sewed the sleeves together and added them to the bodice using gathering threads at the sleeve head, before turning under 1 cm and hemming them at the wrist20150514_125842Pattern matching the sleeves

Then I hand stitched the boning channels to the sides, back and darts, and inserted cable tie bones cut to the right length.

I added a placket to the front edge for the clouser, and pined bias-tape to the neck and bottom edge. IMG_6843

Turning the bias tape at the neck down and securing it at shoulder and back.IMG_6848

I stitched and turned over the bias-tape at the waist, and slip-stitched it to the inside lining to make a smooth and clean finish.IMG_6850 IMG_6852

late at night I marked the placement for the hooks and eyes, but I never had the time to finish them before I needed to hurry to catch the buss to the event.20150612_230034_resized(Instead I pinned it shut)

I also added bias binding to the sleeve edges

Outside and inside of the “finished” bodice:
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IMG_7294I didn’t had time to ad the clouser to the front (Edit: Now it’s done).

The finished dress:IMG_7261

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The Facts – Bodice & skirt:

What: A 1850s summer daydress

Pattern: I drafted my own using Janet Arnolds ” Pattern of Fashion” and Nora Waughs “Cut of Womens Clothes”.

Fabric & Notions: Thread, 5 m of light weight plaid cotton, 0,5 of regular white cotton, 1 m cotton tape for waistband, bias tape for boning channels & neck/sleeves/bottom edge binding, Boning, hooks and eyes.

Time: About 10-15 hours – I made most of the dress by machine.

Cost: 300 Sek – the fabric was on Sale and everything else came from stash.

Final Thought: I really love this dress!
I feel so pretty yet comfortable in it. I can move, dance and breath on it and even though it’s long sleeved it’s not hot at all, just perfect for summer.
And I did get lots of compliments at its first outing :-).

All that’s need to be fixed for next time is, adding hooks and eyes for clouser and attachment bodice to skirt.
I also really need to re-set the sleeves. Well nothing is ever perfect 😉
(I’ve now re- set the sleeves, added the hooks and eyes needed at the front and made the bodice and skirt sit firmly together)

1850/60s (Not a Garbardi) Blouse

Once I’ve decided to make a blouse for some upcoming mid 19th century events this summer it all went pretty fast.

I selected an inspiration pic to base my design upon.
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059d04d3e45d5b72b7ba36bc6a2cd407Shoulder and sleeve detail.

I decided to use the white dotted organza I’ve bought on sale a year ago (which I also used as contrast in my Ariel/Camille dress)
IMG_6253Sorry for the dark photo – I was working late at night

I made a pattern using my green 1840s dress bodice as a base.IMG_6114

To keep the blouse from being totally see through I made a lining in a soft loosely woven cotton fabric. IMG_6267Thin french seams on the lining.

I basted the blouse together, combining darts (in the lining) and gathers (in the organza) to get the right look for the bloused waist. IMG_6255Here you can see the gathered organza (left) and the darted lining (right).

Once I tried it on I found the lining to be a bit high in the neck and cut it down about 4-5 cm.IMG_6259

I stitched the sleeves using french seams and rushing at the cap.
The cuff is just one reinforced, folded piece of organza, closing with a button, to which I gathered the sleeve to. IMG_6274

IMG_6281Sleeve set.

The biggest mistake I made on this project was steaming on fusible interlining to the buttonhole stands. Once sewn to the thin blouse the buttonhole stand looked really bulking and heavy (and white).
So I ripped them of, and not having enough lining fabric left to cut new ones I carefully peeled the interlining of the fabric. IMG_6269What a mess.

Once re-sew (without the interlining) the buttonhole stand looks much better, and it was time to move on to the collar and buttons.IMG_6283Its just a slightly shaped thin strip of organza and lining folded over to make the low standing collar.IMG_6311Then I made all the button holes by hand, added the pearl buttons and sewed on a piece of bias tap to make a casing for the cotton cord used to control the fullness and size at the waist.

IMG_6312Looking neat from the outside…
IMG_6313…And just as neat from the inside.

The finished blouse:

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The Facts:

What: a 1850-1860s blouse/waist

Pattern: I drafted my own using my green 1840s dress bodice and pictures of extant blouses.

Fabric & Notions: 1 m dotted white polyester organza, 0,5 m soft white cotton, 12 plastic buttons, thread, buttonhole thread, 80 cm bias tape and 1,2 m cotton cord.

Time: About 10 hours.

Cost: About 100 Sek (16 Usd) – Everything was bought on sale or leftovers from previous projects.

Final thoughts: I like the look of this blouse, even though I’m not sure the polyester content will keep me as cool as I would have liked in the summer heat. I may make another one out of a more suitable fabric someday, but for now I’m pleased with it. And It was such a quick and easy project.

1840s bonnet (Gratetude)

As my entry for the HSF Challenge 23 Gratetude, I decided to make a 1840s bonnet.

This desicion was made based on multiple things: I wanted to make something I never done before in a tecnique I never tried, and keeping myself outside the comfort zone.

And I think the early Victorian headwear are both pretty, interesting and would provide a suitable challenge because of the millenery parts.

I also really need to make myself some 1840-1850s headwear to wear to an upcoming event.

This is what I whant to accomplish.

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I found this great and informative blogpost on how to make a bonnet by Susan Biscoe. This post gave me the curage to give it a try.

So I started by draping a pattern.

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I used the left-over velvet fabric of the Masquerade cape, and started to cut the multiple layers.

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All the pieces cut out. From left to right: Velvet, cotton lining, interlining, intefacing and the pattern piece. (I later decided to only use one layers each of the interlining and interfacing).IMG_3836

Using a sick-sack stich to attach the wire to the pattern pieces.IMG_3842

I used a plier to bend the wire into shape.IMG_3846

All wired brim piece.IMG_3851

The crown being attached.IMG_3855And the inside.IMG_3864

Sewing the velvet to the crown.

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And finished with the trimings attached.

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Just the facts:

Challenge: 23 – Gratetude

What: A 1840s bonnet

Pattern: I draped and drafted my own.

Fabric: 0,4 m of: brown cotton velvet, brown cotton lawn, heavy upholstery fabric and 0,2 m of golden satin.

Notions: Thread, heavy interfacing and steel wire.

How Historical Accurat: The shape is pretty good but the construction and sewing are modern, even though it is mostly hand sewn.

Time: 10 hours.

Cost: About 100 Sek (11 Usd)

First worn: Not yet, but will be on dec 16th for a 19th century Christmas party.

Thanks to: First of all I whant to thank the whole costuming comunity, and all the help and support you can find there. You are all great!

A special thanks goes to Leomoni of “the Dreamstress” who got me interested in historic costuming, and through the HSF made me inspired to continue to make historic clothes this past year.

Then I whant to thank Susan Briscoe for the great blogpost who made it look so simple (to make a bonnet) and thous gave me the currage to give it a try.

Last thoughts: I really loved making this bonnet and are already thinking about making an other one. Mabye I should venture deeper in to millenery…