Saturday, August 23, 2014

War of 1812 Outfit

For the Battle of Bladensburg, I made a new dress out of an old green sari I got for $4.90 at the local thrift store. The sari had woven borders and a woven pallu while the petticoat part of the sari was all green organza. It was stunning as a sari. I hoped to make it just as lovely for a War of 1812 dress.

I cut off the pallu (the heavily decorated edge that goes over the shoulder on most saris) but left one small border of it because it worked well as a decorated edge opening for the wrap gown I ended up making. The upper border of the sari, I cut off and used as trim around the bottom of the sleeves. I lined the dress in some of the pink silk from the curtains I cut up in the Under $10 HSF.

This was after I had worn it for a few hours so it's rather wrinkly.
Sorry for the blurry back photo!  It's not really that wrinkly, it's more that it's silk organza and that doesn't photograph well.
You can see the bottom border here.
Close up of the bodice.

On most of the fashion plates from the early 1810's, ladies are wearing partlets during the day.  I took my old renaissance partlet pattern I designed a few years back and used that with some minor edits.  I was going for something similar to this partlet.

The biggest difference between a 16th C partlet and a 19th c partlet is the collar. I made the collar twice as long and then pleated it to the neck opening. The collar edge is rolled under. Very simple but it worked well.

Really, the biggest issue I had wearing this was that it would not stop raining! So I ended up coming home early. I hope the British troops go home soon and take their weather with them!


  1. You looked absolutely lovely in your gown today.

    1. Thank you! I liked what you did with the curtain along fabric as well!

  2. Lovely use of the sari. I've had some sari fabric yardage for years trying to decide if it wants to be Regency or Edwardian. But it costs me a whole heck of a lot more than your find. :(

    1. Thank you! I'm pretty lucky with the thrift store finds. You can find some pretty amazing saris and dupattas online as well for under $20. They might have a tear or stain on them, but considering what we do to them, it's never an issue. Just cut out around those places if necessary.

      Wait until you see the Regency ballgown I have in the works. ;-)