Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1800 White Gauze Gown

It turned out perfect! And I'm very happy with it.

It was a bit of a challenge finishing the inside because the bodice was not flatlined at all. I did, however, cover the bodice/skirt seam with twill tape for support.

The dress is weight-y, despite the sheer cotton gauze fabric, and the shoulders and back neckline take strain because of this. Therefore, I put in the twill tape so it would hug the body snugly and take off some of the weight from the shoulders.

The front closes with two small hooks and thread loops at the waist and a functional drawstring at the neckline. The waistband is a narrow 5/8" wide.

The side back/back bodice seams were sewn together with a hand backstitch. I followed the seamlines of the sketch from Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail, so I wanted that seam to be topstitched and visible.

You can see the petticoat ties through the fabric here.

Being early Regency, the skirt is gathered all around in the "round gown" style. However, the gathers are not too full around the center front for a more flattering effect. The sides are hardly gathered (to keep the ribcage small in appearance), and the back gathers are concentrated to about 5" at center back.

And here's the dress "in action" as was taken during my "Dressing A Lady" presentation at the Jane Fest on May 8th.

Notice the gown's smooth sides at the waistband. The bodice and skirt are both "flat" here to minimize ribcage width. This is a good tip to follow for any 19th Century sewing - keep space between the arm and ribcage for a flattering look.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What's In Your Sewing Toolbox?

To tie in with the May 2010 newsletter, we are posing the question: what are your most used sewing tools? I mean, if you were stranded on a deserted island with fabric, thread and needles, what other sewing supplies would you require?

What are you most can't-live-without tools in your sewing box?