August 10, 2008

Historical Dress – Done!

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:26 am

The dress is done!  The WIP post is here.

Final details:  neckline was high enough, but too wide.  I took in about 1/2″ on both sides of the bodice inset, but think it may need a bit more.  The young lady promised to let me know if she wanted it taken in some more.  I make the skirt a little narrower (but wider than it looks on my dress form) than the pattern because she wasn’t going to be wearing a petticoat or hoops underneath.  The zipper and hem went in without any trouble at all.   Here is the final finished dress (excuse the mess…I didn’t take the time to do an artsy fartsy pic, lol).

I think I’m going to find some more of this fabric…I love the color and the drape and think it would make a nice, everyday skirt for me.  Yeah…just what I need…another project on my to-do list!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

August 7, 2008

Historical Dress – Bodice

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:58 pm

The pattern for the historical dress I’m making for my friend’s daughter is Simplicity 3723.  Here is the best picture of the envelope I could find when my camera batteries croaked.  The basis for this particular dress is View D, the yellow floral.

There were several alterations requested.  First, eliminate the scarf.  Second, make the neckline appropriate and modest for a young woman.  Third, make the sleeve cuff less full. 

Before I started the dress, I ended up watching a few hours of Little House on the Prairie with my children.   I looked carefully at the dresses…hoping to glean some ideas, but unsure of the accurateness of 1970’s Hollywood designers portrayal of 1800’s fashion.  I also did some Internet research, but quickly got overwhelmed with the many different styles.

So I prayed and then carefully traced the bodice pattern pieces, adding a bit here and there and started putting it all together.  I added an inch to each side of the bodice, to cover more of the shoulders.  I cut the bodice center insert on the bias, for two reasons.  First, I thought it would look pretty and two, I wouldn’t have to match up the plaid.  I added a muslin trimming, accented with a brown ribbon, to raise the neckline.   I slimmed the sleeve cuffs, cut them on the bias to match the bodice insert, and repeated the muslin & ribbon accenting.  Put the whole thing together and put it on my dress form, Julia, left.


You can just see the muslin trimming above the brown ribbon.  It was obvious to me that there would still be too much skin showing.  So I came up with a plan…add a gathered “fichu” across the décolletage.   I like how it looks…even though in this picture, it is just sitting loosely there.  I want to adjust it exactly when the young lady tries on the dress tomorrow.  I like the added layer of movement (gathered fabric vs non-gathered) and how it really shows off the muslin/ribbon trimming.

So all that is left on the bodice is the zipper…I didn’t have a long enough invisible zipper until I ran to JoAnn’s before dinner.  I’m going to wait and make sure the bodice fits just right before I put the zipper in.  And of course, the skirt is missing.  It is cut out and pieced together, and I will spend the evening hand gathering it to the skirt.

Here is a close up of the sleeve detail:

I have to say that I’m very very pleased…alright, I’m downright proud…of how well this dress is coming together.  I love it and I hope the young lady does, too.

I’ll post pics of the finished dress tomorrow, along with the items I’ll be listing at Retro Femme.

Create a free website or blog at