September Sew Monthly Challenge – Historicism

I was working hard on a dress for the costuming group’s train day, but Very Understanding Boyfriend found out his friends’ wedding was that weekend! I was happy to change plans, but it did leave me with a half-finished dress and no costuming event for the month. And then I remembered that we had a tea!

The theme for the tea was “pink”. Which is why I wasn’t planning on going. I’m not a pink kind of girl, as it tends to go very wrong on redheads. However, I do like making things. And when I realized this would be a good fit for the “historicism” challenge, I picked up six yards of lovely Civil War cinnamon from the local quilt shop and got to work.

This is the finished dress:



The Challenge:

Material: The pink calico is a quilting cotton. The skirt is sateen from Jo-Ann’s. The accent bits are silk and rayon velvet from Dharma Trading.

Pattern: The underskirt is the go-to Truly Victorian 4 Gore underskirt. The polonaise is draped based on a pattern in Bustle Fashions. The little style details are from Bustle Fashions

Year: 1883-1885

Notions: Covered buttons, twill tape, hook and eye closures, one (non period) snap for the neck, spiral steel boning, lace

How historically accurate is it?: I adapted a pattern from Bustle Fashions, so I’d like to think it’s pretty accurate. Materials and construction techniques are as close as I could figure.

Hours to complete: 25-35.

First worn: 17 September

Total cost: Oh god… fashion fabric, 6 yards at $11; lining 6 yards @ $1.50 (on sale at JoAnns), underskirt 4 yards @ $8 (also on sale); silk and velvet scraps @ $15, covered buttons $7, pink cotton thread $8. The rest of the notions I had in the stash. So… $137.
I did not have much time to get this done. Two weeks. Two weeks, with one weekend taken up by a family trip to my cousin’s wedding shower. I needed something I could get out fast, clean, and without a whole lot of angst. I don’t know why I thought a polonaise would be fast, but at least it came together without any massive problems.

Please note, I was HAULING on this, and didn’t get to take as many photos as I’d have liked!  Construction notes are below the cut.

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August Sew Monthly – Pattern

Between my computer dying and trying to get sewing projects time, I haven’t been timely with any of my writing lately!  This post is horribly delayed.  However, I did make it – my August sewing challenge!


Because this is Texas and bigger is always better, I decided I needed a larger bustle support for my plaid 1880s walking dress. I decided this was the perfect project for August – patterns.  Nobody’s going to see it, so why not have fun with the fabric?

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