I was invited to speak at the last Civilian Symposium held in Gettysburg. The speakers at the Symposium are given a length of fabric to make an item of clothing; generally the women make dresses and men make vests. I made a dress this year. Here is the fabric and my inspiration. The inspiration dress is from the collection at the Met, dated to 1860 and English.
This dress was a bit of a challenge. The fabric was printed off kilter and did not run even and this was a different bodice than I have made before. The bodice is a boat neck and gathered at the waist and at the neckline. The bodice lining is darted with a hooked front. The bodice fabric just lays on the lining and had no fastening.
The bodice is gathered into a lined waistband.
The sleeves are open and unlined. The self trim is lined with cotton netting and piped top and bottom.
I made the pelerine using the fichu pattern developed in a previous Genteel Arts workshop. The pelerine is also unlined and self trimmed. The trimming is worked like the sleeve trimming with net lining and piping.
The skirt is a simple gather into the waist band and self hemmed. I ended up having to cut the bodice twice so had to use a skirt panel for the additional fabric to recut the bodice. The skirt, therefore is not as wide as I would like and fits a bit too snug over my hoop.
The dress can be worn with or without undersleeves depending on the weather and/or situation.
It’s not the best dress I’ve made, but I still think it turned out fairly well.
Categories: Civil War