Thursday, November 15, 2012

1860s Fall Dresses

Here are a few more images of the dresses that my mother and I wore to an event this fall. Fall is my favorite season, so I was very excited to make myself some new clothing for this event. I had wanted to make this black windowpane plaid wool into a dress for about eight years, so I was so excited to finally sew it!

I used my basic 1860s darted bodice pattern and changed it to have three darts. I was careful with the pattern matching of the plaid throughout the construction.

One of the best parts of the event was reenacting again with my mother. We didn't try to coordinate our outfits, it just worked out that way!

My mother wore her red check silk dress with red ribbon trim on the sleeves. I was in love with her outfit because everything coordinated so well! She wore her new red and black coral and gold 1860s brooch and red and black leather Robert Land boots.

She also wore an antique wool paisley shawl.

There are a lot of pictures of my dress in this post, but I will leave them in for those of you who enjoy looking at other's creations as much as I enjoy looking at all of yours!

The skirt is box pleated and the box pleat design is based off of an original wool dress from the collection of Wheatland Plantation in Lancaster, PA. The box pleats get larger as they go around the body to the center back, where there are a series of small knife pleats right at center back as you can see in the above picture. It's such an easy way to make a simple skirt interesting. I have done this same pleat design on several of my skirts and have sort of adopted it as my signature box pleating style.

The sleeves are 'coat sleeves' and are set into the armhole with three knife pleats at the top.

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  1. Beautiful! Love your work with matching the plaid lines on the back of the bodice, so difficult, and you nailed it!

  2. Your dress turned out beautifully! I love your pleating techniques. I really need to add a few more to my repetoire. I've only ever done simple gathering, stitching each gather to the bodice. My skirt was always really solidly on the bodice, but it wasn't ever that interesting looking. Good work!

  3. Gorgeous dresses! Especially with the pleating. I am trying to decide what size crinoline I want to make. Did you use a specific pattern or what circumference and length are yours?

  4. I made this cage crinoline awhile ago using the 108" Originals-By-Kay cage crinoline kit. I LOVE the shape of it. I'm not sure if she still sells the kits - I didn't see the on her website. But she does sell completed cage crinolines. I tried the Simplicity 7216 Hoopskirt but didn't love the shape - it's more elliptical/late war: I would recommend purchasing or making a cage crinoline from Originals-By-Kay because the shape is so lovely.