1850s · Dress · In-Progress

In-Progress: 1850s girl’s dress

I thought I would show you all a few sneak-peek photos of the 1850s girl’s dress that I’m currently working on!

The back bodice placket being hemmed, and the full gathered skirt.

The fabric is a purple and grey plaid wool that I got from the Pendleton outlet down in Washougal for like $4 a yard. If you ever have a chance to go down there, I highly recommend it! They have fabulous stuff at really amazing prices.

I also put 3 “growth-tucks” in the skirt. The gals in the mid-19th century were incredibly clever in constructing garments for their little ones that would last for years and could accomodate growth. Since children (unlike 5’4″ petite brunette women) grow, the tucks can be let out to accomodate this growth. If all 3 tucks in this skirt were let out, that would add 6 inches of extra length to the skirt, since each tuck is 1″ deep but takes up 2″ (one inch on each side).

In other fun costume news, both the “Inspired by Margaret Hale” wool coat and a carpetbag I made are going to be in an independent movie that’s going to Cannes! I met the set designer for You Can’t Win last week at my internship (it’s a western movie that they’re filiming here in the PAC NW and stars Michael Pitt, who is so brooding!) and she said that she would like a coat to hang on a hook for one of the scenes they would be filming, so I brought that for her on Tuesday, along with my carpetbag. Now, they will be in the background and hardly be seen, but still! Very exciting. 🙂 I’ve never had one of my costumes in a film before, and I really don’t care that I’m not getting credit or paid for it. If this was my job I would, of course, but knowing that my stuff was authentic-looking enough that the set designer loved it and wanted to put it in the film is reward enough. 🙂

Anyways, to get back to the original topic of this post, do you have any experiences sewing things (historic or modern) for children, and if so, how did it turn out?

6 thoughts on “In-Progress: 1850s girl’s dress

  1. The growth tucks seem really clever, and congrats on the movie thing! Can’t offer you any help in terms of children’s clothing, but I’d imagine it’s much simpler than making stuff for grownups (less darts etc.).

    1. thanks so much! And I’m discovering that children are tiny humans with less curves, so it does make sewing for them simpler since there is less shaping (like the darts you mentioned).

  2. Love the looks of this dress! It’s going to be so pretty! The tucks are a great idea– especially since sewing a dress is so time-consuming, it’s a great idea to make sure that the little lady is able to wear it for a while!

    OK, I am SO JEALOUS of the Pendleton outlet! Everything you get from there is amazing!! I’m thinking of your cream-colored wool skirt– so perfect! Completely jealous.

    Also, congrats on having your things in the movie! That’s a huge deal! How exciting!

    1. Aww, thank you so much!

      And the Pendleton outlet is amazing. Portland has so many amazing fabric stores, and I’m very fortunate to live only a 2-hour drive away, but this means that I don’t get out there that often (which is perhaps a good thing for my pocketbook. I tend to go a little crazy when I do make it down lol).

      And I have to say that I’m totally jealous that you have such amazing fabric stores in NY! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out to any when I was there last year, so if I ever visit again, we definitely should go fabric shopping together. 😉

      1. YES, definitely!!! That would be amazing!! It’s awesome/horrible how many great fabric stores there are here– it is a huge struggle trying to avoid them and keep my budget in check!!

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