Monday, August 31, 2015

100 Years Early • HSM #8

This just doesn't look like Grandma's wedding suit, does it? Or maybe she was just a lot older than she liked to admit? ;)
Nope. The truth of the matter is, I just wasn't in a 1940s-suit-making mood. So what happened? On a whim, I pulled out some fabric and started cutting. And just several days later, I have a not-too-far-from-completion 1840s dress. 
I, for one, am excited!! :)

I used a brown cotton floral fabric I had in the stash (only 6 yards!), and managed to get the whole dress out of it, with enough leftover for plenty of piping. I did end up going back and buying a little more of the fabric, though so I can make a matching pelerine.

Yummy! Cartridge pleats!
The bodice is made from Simplicity 1818, with an altered neckline, and a back hook-and-eye opening rather than a button-front. The seams are piped with 1/8" cording, and the lower edge of the bodice will be as well once it is finished.
I have to finish the cuffs, the lower edge of the bodice, sew on hooks and eyes, sew the bodice to the skirt and hem it. But all things considered, that's not a whole left lot to do!

Unfortunately, we don't have any photographs of our ancestors going back as far as the 1840s (the earliest is 1903); but then, I don't picture a whole lot of photographing going on in Norwegian farms in the 1840s, so it's pretty understandable!
In any case, this is still my HSM entry for the month, even though there's no photographic evidence of it being something that one of my ancestors wore. 

The Challenge: Heirlooms and Heritage
Fabric: 6 yards of cotton plus muslin for the lining and hem
Year: 1845
Notions: Hooks and eyes (tons), cording, thread
How historically accurate is it? 85-90%, perhaps? The inner seams are sewn by machine, and the raw edges...gulp...serged (don't throw too many rotten tomatoes!), but all stitching visible from the outside is done by hand. 
 Hours to Complete: 15-18, when it's all said and done.
First Worn: Not yet, unless putting it on Thelma Lou counts! ;)
Total cost: $80+

I just can't wait to finish it and wear it!! Dresses like this are SO much fun to wear. And the bonus is, I get to wear my gorgeous AD Renoirs again! :)
Luckily for me, next months HSM challenge is brown, so Grandma's wedding suit can become a reality and still count for the HSM. Yay!

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  1. This is one of the prettiest dresses you have sewn yet!! I love the rounded collar. It looks stunning with the brown calico.

  2. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, Esther!!! I LOVE historical dresses, and this one is amazing. I want one exactly like it!!! :) The fabric is just perfect, where did you find it? Piping is one of my favorite details to add to a dress, you did a splendid job on adding a goodly amount of it, prefect for this design. It turned out so professional! The collar is simply gorgeous, I am very partial to lace and embroidery like that. I think this is a smash hit, and I can't wait to see pictures of you wearing it. Three cheers on this dress! :)

  3. The cartridge pleating and piping on this dress look lovely Esther! In fact the whole dress is lovely.
    I am so eager to see the suit once you finish it. I am sure it will be lovely.

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  4. This is so lovely, glad we get to see this, and the suit. You always do such a lovely job, the piping is such a nice touch

  5. It is incredibly lovely. So elegant, sweet, and beautiful - you are creating a true historical fashion work of art here, dear Esther.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. Very sweet dress with small floral print. You've done a great job on the pleating!

  7. Gosh, that is beautiful! Love the piping!
    After so many yards of fabric and hard work, where
    would you wear a dress like that?
    I have a pattern of colonial dress but hesitate because
    there wouldn't be an occasion for me to wear it.
    NJ isn't a state where they do reenactments either.
    I always enjoy your sewing posts!

  8. Such a lovely dress! I especially like the piping of your dress and the fabric. It really looks like an antique 1840s dress.


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