On Sunday of the Welbourne immersion event in Middleburg, VA, I had the chance to wear my newest dress, a black and white plaid wool dress based on an original seen at the 1860s Conference a number of years ago. I found the fabric - a lightweight Italian wool - at the fabric store where I worked around the same time and have been keeping it all these years just waiting for the right moment to make it. The original dress had a black and white plaid slightly larger than this, and the bodice had no trim. The dress had a matching black and white plaid wool mantle with self fabric trim around the edges. Because I was on a time constraint, I chose to use a pre-pleated black ribbon trim around the edges of my mantle and added the same trim to the dress, selecting the trim pattern from a period Lancaster, PA cdv in my collection. I actually like this trim version more than the trim on the original because the black trim really pops.
I'm very pleased with the way that the dress turned out. It fits much better than my dresses from last year. I altered the existing bodice pattern, shortening it at the waist and taking in fullness at the shoulders to achieve a better fit. The skirt was also lengthened slightly, and I like this length much better.
The bodice and mantle are lined with original 19th century polished cotton - a real treat to work with. A find picked up at an antique store.
I couldn't decide which accessories to pair with it...there were so many options.
I especially loved having the chance to use the red leather valise made by Brian Merrick. It's the perfect size for packing undergarments and accessories for an event. Of course, I also travelled with trunks and hat boxes to this four day event.
I was curious to see how it would look with my ermine fur tippet and muff.
I love the versatility of this dress - the black and white would work well with nearly any color accessories.