Friday, March 21, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #5: Bodice

For a recent clothing presentation for my Jane Austen class, I completed a (hasty) reproduction of this gown from an 1812 Costume Parisien fashion plate:

The fabric is a lovely plaid that I got for dirt cheap ($1 a yard!) a while back.  I, of course, have a sizeable stash of white fabric, but since I was making this dress very quickly I didn't want to dip into my strategic muslin reserves.

I cut an 1860's bodice and sleeves out of the fabric before giving up on making it before Gettysburg.  And yes, after making the entire 1812 gown I still have enough for an 1860's sheer!

This was also the first gown that I draped on myself.  I'm decently satisfied with how it turned out.  I think I need to change the placement of the gathers if I make it again.

My first adventure in bodice draping!  I literally threw muslin on myself and fiddled with it until it looked ok.

I began on the gown on Friday evening after class, worked on it all weekend, through the next week (and midterms!) and finally finished it at 3 AM on Friday morning.  I think it turned out pretty well for a 1-week dress, although I am tempted to do a bit of alteration on the ruffle.  That's what happens when you decide to put one on at midnight the night before your presentation!

The day of the presentation I accessorized with my bonnet and a pair of vintage gloves.  Another warning against 3 AM ruffle sewing--look at the bottom of my gown.  See how it is bunched up?  Yeah.  I didn't notice that until looking at these pictures.  Le sigh.

All things considered, it was a fun experience.  Here are a few more pictures of me in the gown (my apologies for it being a bit wrinkled)

The Challenge: #5: Bodice
Fabric: A few yards of plaid 100% cotton lawn, lined in cotton muslin
Pattern: my own
Year: 1812
Notions: Three hooks, some cord for the ruffle, and polyester thread
How historically accurate is it?: All in all I'd say 60% since the bodice is flatlined, most interior seams are sewn by machine, and the specific plaid pattern is debatable.
First worn: For a presentation for my Jane Austen class
Total cost: Less than 10$!

Also, if you're interested, my friend Sabine at Kleiding um 1800 reproduced the same gown.  Go check it out!

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