It's finished!!!!!!! My purple plaid wool 1840 dress is completed!
(well actually it was finished a week ago, but I just got some pictures of it yesterday)
In case you can't tell I'm really excited about it! Although I'm almost disappointed it's done because it was so much fun to make. Overall I'm really happy with how it came out, and I got to use some sewing techniques I'd never before attempted.
(It was really sunny!)
I really like how full the skirt appears in this picture! I'm not wearing a hoop skirt as hoops weren't popular until the mid 1850's. The fullness comes from a quilted petticoat, a corded petticoat, and a ruffled petticoat.
The Skirt is gathered by hand. I hand sewed 3 rows of very even stitches. It took a long time, but the end result was worth it! I then hand sewed the skirt to a piece of twill tape, which I hand sewed to the inside of the bodice waist band.
Rather than a hem, the skirt is finished with a hem facing. This is what they did throughout most, if not all of the 1800's. That way, if the inside of the skirt got stained on the inside from the mud on your shoes your skirt wasn't ruined, you could just replace the hem facing! And yes, I realize that the brown polk-a-dotted fabric is not historically accurate, it was just the only fabric I had enough of that wasn't already earmarked for another project. Besides, it's not going to be seen :)
The cuffs close with wooden buttons and thread loops, I'd never made thread loops before, but they were pretty easy.
This is the picture I texted my friends, saying "It's done!"
The back of the dress closes with 10 hooks and eyes. I think it took just as long to sew all of those on as it did to gather the skirt!
Well now that the dress is done, I'm going to make a bonnet and cloak to go with it. I already have the patterns and all the materials for both! So hopefully I can get those done in the next 2 weeks or so, but first I have a few other projects I want to finish.