Halloween is a good excuse to wear one of my outfits and this year I had one that has never been worn.  All my seniors thought I was Laura Ingles (especially when I had the bonnet hanging from the strings down my back.)img_20161031_205736490.jpg

All in all it was very comfy but there is an issue with the hem.  It hangs longer in the front than the back.  It doesn’t do that on Trudy but I think that may be because I have more “junk in my trunk” than she does.  A quick fix.  Hopefully I do it before I decide to wear this again!


The issue isn’t as pronounced when I stand up straight.  May be the problem isn’t my “junk” but my posture.

HSF: 2016 challenge 8 pattern

Challenge #8: Pattern


I’m using the photo I took before hemming and adding the hooks because I haven’t taken a new photo yet and really…not much difference would be seen between the two photographs.

What the item is: German day dress

Fabric/Materials: cotton

Pattern: TV 454

Year: 1845

Notions: hooks and eyes, cording, bones

How historically accurate is it? Pattern is good.  Fabric is 100% cotton so that is good.  Print is paisley, which is good but paisleys changed over time and I’m not knowledgeable enough on the topic to say this would be a good version for the 1840s. I’m also not knowledgeable about weave to comment on that. The colors are believable. I machine sewed a lot of it so “no” for technique.  Notions were metal hooks (I think some of them are actually vintage and I used natural fiber cording.  The bones were plastic.  I will be using it for a lower middle class woman for day to day wear.  I think, with enough petticoats, the silhouette will be fine.  I give this a generous 70%

Hours to complete: 15

First worn: not yet

Total cost: the notions were in my stash (cost already accounted for in other projects).  I don’t recall the cost of the fabric but I think no more than $30…I was on a tight budget during the shopping trip where this was bought.

Can I use Grandma’s bonnet?

There has been progress on the Atessa dress.  In fact, just the hooks and eyes left to do now. I hope to have those on and pictures done so that I can do my HSF post tomorrow.

I really want to honor my grandmother by using the bonnet she made some 40 years ago with this dress.  The colors are perfect!img_20160908_095927506_hdr.jpg

(Ignore the way the crown of the bonnet poofs out…It is the wig Trudy is wearing.  Not at all authentic looking!)

The hundred dollar question is: Would this be remotely plausible? The dark print cotton could imply more of a work dress so a cotton bonnet or sun bonnet would work in terms of class and use.  But the bonnet was definitely of the “Little House on the Prairie” style, which I typically think of as more 1880’s. Did they use bonnets like this in the 1840’s.  I searched the Met and here is what I found….61-141-41_cp2

They did have cotton sun bonnets in the 1840s.  But this one is corded, mine is not.  This one has a long neck cover.  Mine does not. The shape of the brim is not quite right.0415

This hat is from Augusta Auctions. It is dated 1850-90.  That is a bit old for my dress but being middle aged, I can get away with more…”Just an old fashioned girl who likes dress styles that are a bit dated.” The brim is right but the neck drape is not.ci60-23-33_s

The drape is a bit shorter on this one but still too long.  And it shows that they used more than check patterns.  It is dated 1838.  Again, that middle aged thing works for me and the slight discrepancy in dates is okay.  The straw stuff is a bit odd isn’t it….

Just as I was beginning to despair that I could use this I found more that were closer matches. This one is 1838 and has the shorter drape.  It is also quilted and mine is not but that would be an easy fix. ci59-48-4

So what do you think? Close enough and I can just go with it? Not close but not any worse than some of my other choices and adaptations? Just wrong-use the left over fabric from the dress and make something more suited to the “Little House on the Prairie” hat…like 1880’s?


1845 German Day dress

I have started my next dress.  I am using Truly Victorian’s 1845 German Day Dress pattern (TV454).  My usual routine is to name my dresses and since a nice German girl is about to join my family, I will name it after her-the Atessa dress. (I know that is not a common German name.)

This dress is being made from fabric I bought at the Dickens Festival I went to last December. There it is, in the bag in front of Shirley.39

The dress will be made from the same pattern as the one I used to make the dress I was wearing when I bought the fabric-only the gathered option.12310673_751583061612213_145770062943216842_n

I am pleased to say that it is coming together with far less hassle than the Spanish Dress did.  The bodice is together and the sleeves are started.

With any luck, I will have the sleeves assembled and in by the end of the day. (Please be sleeves and not sleevils.) This is doable because it is a stat holiday here in Canada (Happy Labor Day!) If I am REALLY productive, I will get the boning in and the neck line piped as well.

Then the plan is the get the skirt panels together and carriage pleated during the work week so I can attach it to the dress next weekend.  In my dream world, I also have it hemmed and the closers put in next weekend!