Thursday, May 9, 2013

Historical Sew Forthnightly Challenege #9, Flora and Fauna

Last week I completed my entry for the HSF challenge number 9 Fora and Fauna.
I wasn't particularly creative with this one and chose to make a dress from a floral print cotton that i already had waiting in the stash and had been planning to use for a new dress for a while. with Madame Kat's Jane Austen tea party coming up it was the perfect excuse t make up a new dress. while choosing a floral print dress may not be a stroke of genius  at least the dress itself turned out quite lovely.

The Challenge: Flora and Fauna


My pretty pretty fabric
Historic reproduction, stylized floral print in cream and wedgewood blue from 97 District Fabrics


Self drafted based on extant garments and fashion prints from the 18teens, i do not know of any pattern either commercially available or in one of the many costuming books that has a dress with the flat fronted bodice so popular in the mid regency so i kind of had to do some guesswork on it's construction. I used a slightly altered version of the pattern I drafted a while ago for my Ingres portrait dress.

The Ingres portrait dress used the same bodice pattern.

Year:  ca. 1813

Notions: Gutermann's poly thread. store bought piping "oyster" colored, hook and eye tape, fabric covered buttons

How historically accurate is it? Perhaps 60/40  The pattern and fabric and design is period accurate, and all visible seams are done by hand, the ruffles are pinked on the edges which is a period method of decoration. The pinking is  however treated with fray check, while some sort of anti fray treatment was indeed available in period it was certainly not the store bought stuff I used. The piping was store bought and is a poly cotton blend so not accurate either, though piping was all the rage for the 18teens on so the  look is correct, the back closure is a mock button closure with self fabric covered buttons over hook and eye tape. This certainly is not period correct, mock button backs did exist but hook and eye tape did not. i would have done a regular button closure but the fabric was too thick for the button kit i was using and i had to super glue the tops to the bottoms to keep them form popping off, i figured they would not be able to take the stress of actually keeping the back closed, so i decided on a mock button back instead. All non  visible sewing is done by machine.

Hours to complete: not sure, I worked on it for most of last week. all together i spent perhaps 15 to 20 hours.

First worn: 

At Madame Kat's Jane Austen Tea Party on May 4th 2013

Nothing completes and outfit like a parasol and a glass of champagne!

Total cost: 
$25 for the fabric, $8 fr the piping and about $3 for the buttons the thread and hook and eye tape from the stash, so around $36 or so.

 I wore my new frock with my humongous puff top stovepipe bonnet that I made at the Lydia Fast bonnet workshop, and at the tea party i added a chemisette and ruff to complete the over the top ruffly look of the mid 18 teens, I call this my blueberry muffing ruffle monster outfit! It rocks!

Worn plain without the chemisette.

the back view in all it's skirt trailing glory

And from the side to show off the bonnet trim!

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