Saturday, December 12, 2015

1830's Black Cotton Dress

A lot of us have talked about making the ridiculous sleeved dresses of the Romantic era for ages.   Some were actually starting on theirs so I joined in the fun, in secret.  :-)  The pictures aren't the best - I'll try to get better photos later-  but you get the idea of the dress.   All my inspiration is here on my pinterest board.  Some of the dresses are from my website, some are from museums.  

I saw the black floral cotton in Joanns and knew it had to be my new dress - of course this was Thursday and the dress was to be done today!   So, I dragged out my old 1840's pattern and made a few changes to it.  First, I shortened it.  Then, I change the curved seamed front to a darted front.   The rest was pretty easy.

The sleeves of the 1830's are really pretty simple - the bottom half is relatively normal, it's just that the top half blooms out.  I just pleated the top of the sleeves - as you can see in the close up photo- and sewed that to the dress.

The dress is a mix of handsewing and machine sewing.   The piping is just bias tape (no cording. in the original ones I have, there isn't any.  It's just bias tape rolled over the edge).   There is piping on the shoulders, neckline, sleeve cuffs, and along the edges of the "belt".   I wanted to bring out the pink as much as possible.

I might add some ruffles or take in the sleeves - as they did with the late 1830's styles- but the dress is wearable as is right now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly - The silver screen

Thanks to Maggie for her helpful page on Costumer's guide

For the silver screen, this was actually plan C. I used fabric I had on hand since the stuff I ordered didn't get here in time for the other ideas I had. I wanted to go with Eowyn's outfit because it's actually not too far off from the late 12th century/ 13th century fashions across Europe. Spain had the lacing on the sides for the surcote in the mid and late 13th century.

The gathered at the neckline blue underdress doesn't look much different beneath the surcote from what was being worn in elsewhere in Europe.

So, I decided to recreate Eowyn's dress but in a more historical style.

I just have the surcote over my sweater for now.  I promise pictures with the linen blue underdress later.

The Challenge: Silver Screen

Fabric: Linen for the surcote; linen, wool, and silk for the underdress when it's done

Pattern: My own! The underdress is based off this extant garment and the surcote was made similar to the sideless surcote pattern.

Year: 13th century

Notions: Thread...lots and lots of thread...

How historically accurate is it? Unfortunately, it's now mostly machine sewn. However, the shape is correct and the colors were available so it's not horrible

Hours to complete: The surcote took two hours on the sewing machine. The blue underdress still isn't done.

First worn: Not until next year, probably. It's a good Pennsic dress if nothing else

Total cost:
I think I got the linen on sale but I can't remember how much. Everything I used was stash.

EDIT: Here's the blue dress finally!!!


It's very full but it's also somehow slimming.  I absolutely love it.  What you can't see is all the embroidery.

Embroidery on the sleeve

Close up of one of the sleeves. On Eowyn's dress, there is a hint of gold embroidery. I found an excellent close up of the fabric on Photobucket.

 photo eowyn_KOtunic_Celef.jpg

It looks like it's really a gold embroidered crinkle cotton. For my version, I used blue linen with both wool and silk thread in gold.

Embroidery on the neckline

Some of the embroidery around the neckline. The sleeves to this dress are handsewn and heavily pieced. I think one sleeve panel (there are four) is constructed out of 11 pieces of fabric. Another is, thankfully, only two. Piecing those together, embroidering them, and then using the herringbone stitch along the seams as well is what took so long.


Now that I have the proper blue linen on under the surcote rather than the super bulky sweater, I hope you get a better idea of what I was going for.