Wednesday, 24 February 2016

1830s Day Dress - Blue & White Plaid

Patterns: Truly Victorian #455 "Romantic Era Dress"
Fabrics: Polyester woven (not 'printed'. Same on both sides).
              100% cotton for lining and petticoat. Medium weight but incredibly high thread count - acts very "crispy" and stiff. (wish I could get more of this stuff, it's perfect for petticoats).
Available on Etsy HERE
Available on Ebay HERE
Chest - 40"
Waist - 33"
Hip - Free
Hem - 40" at front, 42" at back.
Hem circumference - 130"
Petticoat hem - 38"

~General Overview~
Another amazing pattern from Truly Victorian. You can make the bodice flat or with the gathered upper portions. The pattern calls for full lining, including the skirts. I chose to not line the skirt panels because of weight concerns (my plaid fabric is already rather weighty). This, however, ended up creating a noticeable color difference from the bodice, so I made a white petticoat of the same fabric. Be sure to measure your forearm before cutting the sleeves, as they are tight below the elbow.

These are the largest sleeves I have ever worked with, and that includes the huge looks of the mid 1890s. They measure nearly a yard across and are gathered or pleated all the way around the armhole.
The lining for the sleeves, white cotton.
To help hold out the shape, you should flat line the sleeves with netting. I didn't want the netting in the seam allowance of the armhole, though, because it would have added a great deal of bulk there. So, I attached the netting to the lining rather than flatlining the fashion fabric, and I did so about 1/5" below the seam allowance. You can see the stitching, of course, which is why I had to do this to the lining and not the fashion fabric.

I bound the armhole and attached the lining there with a blanket stitch done by hand. I could have just done a zig-zag stitch with the machine, but I was tired of wrestling so much material around a tight space.

(above) As stated in the pattern instructions, bodices of this era were usually not sack lined, as I have done. But, it's my preference =) The bottom of the lining is turned and whip stitched over the seam allowance of he waist seam by hand. The front darts are boned and the side and back seams are piped.

One should wear petticoat with this dress, of course, but I made one specifically to make up for not lining the skirt panels. I like it better this way in any case. I didn't want the extra weight, and bulk at the waist seam, that would have resulted from lining the skirt panels.

The petticoat is simple rectangular panels. The skirt is 2 panels 60" x 41" and one panel 22" x 41" (this smaller panel is at the center front and I added it simply because I don't like have a seam at the center front. The top of the petticoat is two pieces 8.25" x 22", center front seam, and open at the center back. The entire pieces if folded over to form a wide top panel. A row of stitched at the top to create the channel for the tie, and that's pretty much it. The hem is 1.5", doubled.

(below) Disregard the thin ties you see at the top here. They aren't part of the petticoat, but are part of the hip/rump pad underneath.


Two layers of fashion fabric and two layers of stiff cotton interlining. There and hooks/eyes at the back and a decorative button/ruffle of lace at the front. The front decoration is lightly stitched on and can be easily removed.

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