Monday, March 23, 2015

New Sheer Civil War Dress

So for my second sewing project of the year, I have decided to redo the early 1860s dress I wear for Civil War events. My blue bud calico dress was made back in 2012 for a tea event at the local historical society. When I had put it together, I used a quilting calico which makes for a cool dress even during the summer (yay for cotton!) but the dress itself is very heavy because it's a quilting fabric. In addition, this was one of the last dresses I made before I started fanagaling fitting techniques so the bodice is a little big on me.
Denver Fabrics was holding a sale at the beginning of the year and while had I told myself I would NOT buy any more fabric this year, I caved when I found a pretty blue and brown striped cotton lawn. It is definitely much lighter than the quilting calico.

It came in two pieces because I apparently managed to completely buy out the fabric (I'm a firm believer in always having a little extra, just in case). When I pulled out all my pattern pieces, I then remembered I had committed one of my own cardinal sewing sins and cut the original pieces. Oops.
So I reordered the original pattern - 1863 Sheer Dress by Truly Victorian (TV447) - and used the new pattern to redraft the bodice pieces. In short, taking in the bust line like I usually have to do with my dresses.

For the lining, I'm using my mystery poly/cotton blend from the LA fashion district. In the original instructions, it calls for the neckline to be edged with piping, which I did with the first dress. I didn't like the result because, to start, the lining doesn't show, so you don't really see the piping. Second, with the piping, lining fabric, and bias edging, there was a lot of fabric bulk along the neckline.

For the new dress, I eliminated the piping and edged the neckline with just pre-made bias tape. I machine stitched it on to the lining edge along one fold of the bias fabric.
Afterward, I clipped the edges and extra fabric then ironed everything so the raw edges would be covered.
The bias I stitched in place by hand using just a small whip stitch.
I also tacked down the edges at the front to smooth things out for when I attach my closures later (still to be determined). Already liking my second attempt a little better!

4 comments:

  1. I'm excited to see how this turns out!

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  2. This is very timely for me. I'm making this exact pattern up in cotton voile. I'm waiting for the pattern to arrive any day now.

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    Replies
    1. Oh I would love to see how yours turns out too!

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  3. Oooooh! Love the fabric! So cannot wait to see the finished product!!!
    blessings!
    Gina

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