Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Making a Civil War Dress Part 1

I finally got my camera out while making a dress. The dress that I'm working on is a Custom Order Civil War Day Dress like the one I sell in my Etsy store Victorian Times. I plan to post the Making a Civil War Dress in three parts. So please make sure you come back to see the next two post.

I like to use a dress form. I can watch the dress take shape while I'm sewing. Although the lady who order the dress did not order any of my civil war undergarments I still like to put those on my dress form before I begin sewing. In the above picture you can see my corset and corded petticoat. My corded petticoat need a good starching to hold the cords out better. Women wore corded petticoats rather than hoops when they needed to work. The corded petticoat gives the dress a bell like shape without the bulkiness caused by the hoops. As reenactors, women where corded petticoats under their "Camp" Dress / Work dress. When cooking by the fire you need to be able to get close and a corded petticoat make that possible. When I'm sewing a Civil War Day dress I usually put my hoop on the dress form instead of the corded petticoat. Unfortunately, my hoop is still pack and I can't seem to find it! Hopefully, I be about to find it for the final picture of the dress.
In the picture above I have my petticoat over the corded petticoat. This will give the skirt more fullness. My petticoat can also fit over a four bone hoop.

Above is picture of the fabric I am using for the dress. It is a soft blue with a white paisley design. I'll post a close up picture in part two. In this picture I'm getting ready to cut out the panels for the skirt. I use four panels for a Day Dress, it gives the dress 180" in circumference.

Next, I sew the panels together and pleat the waist. The picture above is the skirt. I like to make the skirt first because I makes me feel as if the dress is mostly finished, even though I still have a lot of work to do. This skirt is wide enough to fit over a four, five, or six bone hoop! In part three I'll post a picture with the dress over a hoop. Part two will focus on the bodice and sleeves. Part three will be on the finishing of the dress.


Gallery Graphics, Inc. said...

I am by no means a crafty person. I am in AWE!!!

Deanna said...

Hi there!
I'm enjoying reading your blog and think the silk dress you made is beautiful!
It will be interesting to watch how an article comes together.
God Bless you real good,

Pam Walter said...

I can hardly wait to see the finished product! I'm sure it will be wonderful.