Sunday, January 24, 2016

Welbourne 1865

Once again I wore this black wool dress with fuchsia windowpane plaid to Welbourne. I had this fabric in my stash for over 10 years before I finally got around to making a dress from it! It was so nice to finally get this dress finished. I'm sure that my additional years of experience sewing helped to make this dress even prettier now than it would have been 10 years ago.

I chose to pipe the pointed bodice, armscye, and sleeve hems with fuchsia silk since I have seen a few originals that used contrasting piping. The front of the bodice fastens with hooks and eyes and has fuchsia silk fabric covered decorative buttons. I wore an original collar and original Etruscan style brooch and matching bracelets with reproduction Etruscan earrings. I made the fuchsia velvet pleated hair ribbon headdress to be worn with my wrapper but it also goes perfectly with this dress. I based it on original CDV images showing pleated hair ribbons with no net.

Outdoors I accessorized with a silk bonnet that I made and an original Chantilly lace and bone parasol. The nice thing about this event is that originals can be used delicately. If I were at a huge outdoor reenactment I would never wear this many originals for fear that they might get lost or damaged.

I always wear my 108" Cage Crinoline with slightly elliptical shape but it's so hard to control how it looks under dresses because it has everything to do with the weight of the dress skirts. In the picture above the cage shape appears so small to me, but other times when worn under a silk skirt it's the perfect size. I always wear two heavily starched cotton petticoats over the cage crinoline. Perhaps I need a larger cage for under wool dresses to accommodate their weight? I plan to make two new cage crinolines in size 110" and 120" in the future so I can experiment more with size and shape.


  1. Beautiful workwomanship! Love the fabric and accent fabric!

  2. Found your blog as I was seeking 1860's dresses, as I am in the process of sewing a dress at the present using a pattern from Laughing Moon Mercantile. I love your dress and the photos of your wearing it.

  3. That's a great pattern - I love the design lines of the Laughing Moon Mercantile dress. I'm sure your reproduction will be lovely!