I have always been daunted by historical dress making. The moment I start considering dress construction, the perfectionist part of my brain chimes in and all of the sudden I find myself trying to find a way to make the PERFECT dress. Perfect seams, absolutely 100% historically accurate, exact fit, etc. etc. But, alas, this is not possible. I do not live in the 19th century, therefore I can never create the real thing. Still, I try to hold up to historical accuracy as much as I can. Perfect fit and seams will come with practice and patience (which I sometimes lack).
I chose a pattern from Past Patterns. #905, #906, #907, three piece ensemble circa 1883-1884. It's basic, no frills and lace, just a simple ruffle in a few spots.
So that wasn't too hard, but then I got stuck on fabric. I found a really lovely print on Reproduction Fabrics. I emailed Reproduction fabrics and they told me they decided to stop carrying it and gave me the manufacturer number. I googled it and found the exact fabric on a quilting website.
I adore the pink clover against the brown. Clover is one of my favorite summertime flowers. Plus, I feel like Laura would love this fabric. It's simple and practical, but so beautiful. I love it.
I did a mockup, which took me longer than I expected. It was difficult to reach behind me to smooth and fit the fabric. I traced the smallest size of the D cup pattern. My proportions mean that I had to take a LOT out of the body of the mockup. I ended up taking some out of every seam to make it fit, since the waist and hip were way to big.
Now that's done, the next step is cutting the fabric. I'm using the mockup as my lining, so that eliminates using more muslin and I can just follow my pattern marks that I made during the fitting.
I'll post another update further into the process!
My name is Rosalie Silliman, I'm a history enthusiast with a love for sewing and costumes.