Monday, March 18, 2013

Where do these crazy ideas come from?

As I mentioned in Friday's post, I'm planning a trip to Gettysburg, PA later this week. (Thank you to Cassidy at A Most Beguiling Accomplishment for sharing her 1864 hair images  Also, to Isabella of All The Pretty Dresses who has some lovely 1860s gowns posted on her site.) Over the weekend I got this crazy notion that not only did I need a new 1860s dress to wear, I could some how finish one before I left. Ha! Where do these crazy ideas come from? I don't really know but I started working on a new dress all the same.

First off, I'm being good and using fabric from the stash. The fabric is a light weight plaid cotton that I bought several years ago for the purpose of make a Civil War era gown. I don't have any pictures to share just yet, will take some tonight. The plaid is a nice combo of a brownish orange, blue, green, and white. Plaids were very popular in the 1860s and at $2.50 a yard it was hard to say no.

The inspiration for my new dress. Source- Possibly Ebay, I can't remember
So far I have the bodice fabric and lining cut and sewn together, minus the sleeves which I still need to cut. I cut three panels of my 45" wide fabric for the skirt. I stitched them together last night and started gauging them. Gauging is a form of controlled pleating which is commonly found in mid 19th century gowns, particularly washable everyday cottons. A gauged skirt is whip stitched to a waistband making it less bulky then a pleated skirt. Need to dig out my hoop and corset tonight so I can make sure everything fits. It's been quiet awhile since my last Civil War gown but I'm using an almost fail prove pattern drafted from one of my originals.

 Update 3/19/2013 - Just found this image which is a pretty good match for my plaid fabric. :)

On another sewing note ... I finished my blouse for the Sew for Victory sew along using a 1940s mail order pattern. I used a dark blue cotton with white polka dots. Pictures soon!


  1. I love the sound of this project! Can't wait to feast my eyes on your new dress!

  2. I love 1860s plaid gowns! Someday I'll make one of my own. Can't wait to see yours!


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