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1851 Day Dress in Cotton

1850s Day Dress with Ruching

This costume was a commission for Dickens Fair.  It is a 3 piece outfit that the peformer can put on herself without assistance, as the bodice hooks up center front.  To make the ruching trim I cut several yards of navy blue cotton into strips, joined them into several longer strips, hemmed both sides, then ran them through a ruffler machine.

Johnson ruffle machine

I had plenty more of this navy cotton, so I made it into a skirt to mix and match with the bodice.

The underblouse was gathered in rows across the front, in imitation of smocking.

Cotton Blouse for 1851 day dress

Here is one of my references, showing most of the historical fashion elements I used in this project.  The 1851 fashion plate shows the deep V neckline, the smocked-front underblouse, and sleeve shape on the left dress; and the right dress has 3 rows of vertical trim down the skirt (rather than having 2 rows like the bodice).

1851 fashion plate day dresses

Candy Corn

Knitted candy corn hat

Hooray for silly hats!  I knitted this candy corn hat out of acrylic yarn.  I made it to go with a skirt I made in candy corn fabric.

Candy Corn skirt and hat

It is one from my collection of summer skirts, which will make their debut this weekend at Hydra Comic Con.  They are knee length, with a nice twirl, and most importantly: two pockets.

Victorian Beaded Purses

two crochet beaded purses

Having some fun designing with beads.  These reticules take quite a while to crochet, because the stitches need to be tight enough that nothing can poke out through the holes (even a bobby pin, or the tip of a pencil).

The grey and black one was a commission, which also included these matching gloves.

crochet fingerless gloves

Printed Canvas Waistcoat

dandy damask vest

I have made many waistcoats over the years, but this was my first one with piping going all the way around.  Piping is made by sewing bias strips around a narrow cotton cord, and it provided the purple edge you see in these pictures.

back lacing on vest

The back laces up, 1830s style, for decorative adjustability.  And here you see close up, my painstaking matching of the printed pattern.

matching printed damask

lacing tabs with grommets