Oct 19, 2011

1840s Day Dress

Last night I started working on my 1840s day dress. It will be made from an Ikea duvet cover that I adore - its a wonderful floral pattern that I've already seen a few historical costumers use for gowns. I've chosen to make my sleeves like the green gown in Young Victoria, except that I'm still deciding on whether to gather or pleat them at the top.

Gathered sleeve

Pleated Sleeve

For the bodice I'm thinking about making a fitted front with reveres, narrow at the waist and widening out to the shoulders, like below.
MFA Boston
My fabric, a cotton Ikea duvet cover
As soon as I cut out my pattern pieces I use the remnants on the bias to prepare the piping. 
Each pattern piece is interlined with cotton organdy. This provides support for a structured bodice.  As I'm working in a hurry and don't plan to line the bodice,  I've overlocked the edges with white thread.
Reveres completed - interlined and lined with cotton organdy for stability.  Piped along the outside edge. These will be attached between the centre and side front bodice pieces.
Front of bodice, with revere attached. I have piped the vertical seams of the front feature.
Bodice complete, now for the sleeves.

Hand pleating the top of the sleeves. Make sure you use glass headed pins.
First row of sleeve ruffles attached. 
Top of sleeve is backed with cotton organdy. Sleeve ruffles are sewn through both layers.

Two rows of sleeve ruffles.

Sleeve pinned in place to see how it looks. Next to gather bottom sleeve into a cuff.
Better photo - taken at night. 
I've just spent some time re-doing the sleeves. I was not happy with how they sat with pleating at the top, plus the ruffles were not meeting up. Next time, add the ruffles after the sleeve is made. In the meantime I cut off the top of the sleeve, added a new sleeve cap and then 11.5cm deep cuffs. When I pinned the sleeve together this time the ruffles all lined up. Phew!

Starching petticoats. I would have preferred to put them around a large cylinder (like a large plastic garbage bin) but this was the closest I could find. Will just have to iron them with my heavy duty professional steam iron before they are completely dry.



Patterns that I'm using:
Bodice - 1840s German Dress from Truly Victorian
Sleeves - Figleaf Patterns 1857 Day Dress & Jean Hunnisett
Skirt - 1840s German Dress from Truly Victorian

6 comments:

Kleidung um 1800 said...

Wow, thank you for showing the details at the sleeve head!
Looks very lovely.
Sabine

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

Thank you :) I am learning as I go - I've spent a long time reading blogs and books - it is so nice to have it coming together at last.

Time Traveling in Costume said...

This is beautiful, Aylwen. I tried gathering my upper sleeves like that but I thought it was supposed to go all the way around, and it never looked right, so I gave up. I think I'll give it another shot now.
Val

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

I've seen a few gathered and pleated stop short of going all the way, and this was how the Figleaf dress was pleated. Because I was also following an 1840s sleeve in Jean Hunnisett I made the pleats longer so I could add ruffles further down the sleeve. I didn't want them caught up in the reveres. In the figleaf dress the pleats went to where I placed the top ruffle. The figleaf sleeve also pleats above the cuff - I'm not sure that I'll do that yet.

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

Val, if you're friends with me on live journal, I've put up a really high resolution image at http://pics.livejournal.com/aylwen/pic/00059qgq

LadyAugstaFredrika said...

Wow! I've used the same fabric for a 18th century Robe á l'anglaise. (Here's a picture: http://augustafredrika.blogspot.com/2011/06/om-mig.html)

Your bodice looks lovely!

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