Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1845 German Day Dress

The silhouette of the 1840s is fabulous.  I love the look of wide shoulders to emphasize the small waist (or create the illusion of a small waist).
1840s Silk Dress, source unknown.
Jenny Lind. Source: Library of Congress
So I instantly went ga-ga over the Truly Victorian TV454 1845 German Day Dress pattern when it came out in 2007.  I made the gathered front version with a sheer cotton plaid in the Summer of 2007 and made the bretelle version in Fall 2010.  Truly Victorian patterns are sized in such a way that you can easily adapt them to your specific measurements.  Mine mostly corresponded with Size C, but I did make the sleeve pieces narrower.
I was inspired this daguerreotype to play with the stripes of the fabric:
Source: finedags.com
My version of the 1845 German Day Dress
at Columbia State Historic Park Diggins Event
I matched the squiggles!
The front of the bodice has four pieces, so I piped the center seam to add a little contrast.  I lost 10 pounds from the point of cutting out the fashion fabric, so it doesn't fit like I had planned.  The bretelles also need some sort of interfacing to keep their shape since they kept folding in at my underarm.  I have plans to take this dress apart to fit my smaller frame fix the bretelles.  Onwards and upwards!

Monday, February 14, 2011

1840s Wrapper

I've always wanted a wrapper to round out my wardrobe and fell in love with this original that was sold through the Charles A.Whitaker Auction house a few years ago:

Low and behold I found some wool and cotton challis at fabric.com that fit the bill almost exactly!  For the trim and collar I used strips of paisley from a reproduction cotton print that I purchased at Sac City Drygoods and I used leftovers from another 1840s dress I made to line the bodice.

The finished product:
I used a different stripe from the fabric for the cuff trim.
I can wear the wrapper with or without a corset (the pictures are taken without).  So far this has been one of my favorite projects, in terms of matching the original.  It took about two years to collect all the materials, but it was worth the wait! Now I just need a little cap to wear to complete my morning attire.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

1844 German Mantle

I used the left over silk from my 1840s silk dress project to make an 1844 German Mantle from The Cut of Womens Clothes:1600-1930 by Norah WaughThe pattern shapes are odd, but it was pretty easy to put together and I hand flat felled all the seams, as it is unlined.   It is simply trimmed with self-fabric ruching around the edge.  The neck is too large so I put in two darts at the back of the neck to make it smaller after these pictures were taken.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1840s Silk Dress

I had a stash of brown iridescent silk taffeta that I picked up in the LA Fabric District years ago that I wanted to make a nice dress that could be worn to a number of occasions without feeling overdressed.  I found this image online:
From Old Sacramento Museum Collection
 And this original:
Original 1840s Satin Dress

I altered the 1840s Round Dress from Laughing Moon Patterns to make a dinner/reception dress that I based off of these two images.  I liked the buttons on the silk dress and I made sheer undersleeves like those in the dag.  The bodice is boned in the front and has wood-disc core fabric covered buttons.  The undersleeves are more sheer in real life than the picture.  Sadly, this dress is now enormous on me after I've lost 25 pounds since I made it in 2007.  I guess it's a good excuse to make another silk dress!
At the Dickens Fair

Full length view of my 1840s Silk Dress