Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dress Diary {Entry 1}

I love sewing, it’s one of my favorite things to do if I’m not too busy to do it. I've been busy working on a very unique project for the past few months and have really been enjoying it. Unfortunately with all that has been going on with school things have been too busy to make any real headway with it.
The dress back

Because of my desire to become a history teacher, which I’ll post more about some other time, I've become really interested in period clothing. After doing hours of research about on late 18th century garments I've slowly, very slowly, been working on making a replica 18th century day dress modeled after what an upper middle class woman would have worn from approximately 1770 -1780.

The stays back, I'm still trying to figure out an efficient way  keep the ten yards of  cord out of the way.
Please forgive the bad picture.
One of the reasons that this project has been taking me so long to complete is because it’s my desire to make this as historically accurate as possible. Part of this means starting from the inside out. There are several garments that must be made before the dress so that the dress can be fitted properly. I spent a while learning about what the proper underpinning looked like and how to make them.

As I was considering what I wanted the dress to look like I had several ideas which I wanted to incorporate parts of.  Here are a few examples.

Source: via maidofvirtue on Pinterest



Source: via maidofvirtue on Pinterest

I really love Pinterest because it allows me to collect hundreds (yes, seriously hundreds) of pictures of dresses from museums without having to spend a fortune on museum books. By collecting and studying this pictures it has allowed me to study many different pieces. Once I had a rough idea of what I wanted the dress to look like I started making some rough sketches.
What I hope my dress will look similar to when I'm finished.
With the sketches done and the underpinnings complete, it was time to start the gown. I half expected that it would be difficult and much to my delight the pattern that I’m using as a rough draft turned out to be surprisingly easy. One of the difficulties that I'm finding along the way is not being able to wrap my head around the fact that the fit of clothing and the way that it should look on the dress form is very different now from what it was 200 years ago. That's a huge surprise I know :) However I'm finding that the way I've trained my eyes to fit modern garments need to unlearn somethings. I'm almost finished with the bodice and will post some completed pictures of it soon. Please keep checking in to see the progress!

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