Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dressing the 1860s

My newest project brings me back to the era that started me in historical sewing over eight years ago!  I interpret living history at a historic site in the Bay Area that was used from the Civil War to the end of World War II and have been able to make several civilian outfits from the 1910s and 1940s.  Now I am branching out to do interpretation at another location at the site that began as a Civil War-era fort, so it's the perfect opportunity to make a new 1860s dress!

Like I said before, since I haven't made an 1860s dress in many years, and my shape is changing into an athletic build from my other hobby, my usual darted bodice standby no longer fits my chest or arms. My husband draped a bodice for me using Elizaebeth Stewart Clarks instructions in her Dressmakers Guide.  This is what we came up with on the first go-round.

We added more to drop the shoulder and drafted out D-shaped sleeves based on my sleeve measurements. The back seam is pinched in versus separate side back pieces. I am very excited to finish the mock up today and go to work so I'll have it ready for an event at the end of the month! Here is the fashion fabric:

A new set of white collars and cuffs are on my to do list and a silk belt to go with my new Gutta Purcha buckle that I got for a steal since the vendor who sold it thought it was wood. A GP buckle has been on my wish list for years so I am giddy that I finally found one!