Monday, October 15, 2012

The red and black dress, almost done!

As I was packing up my stuff for sewing class tonight, I thought, "Man, I have enough stuff done that I can actually wear almost all of it!" So I packed up everything and got dressed during class. So here's some pictures!

Me in my proper undies (finally!)  The ribbons at the bottom of the drawers aren't necessary, but I put them there back when I was making plans for other outfits that might include shorter skirts or breeches.

Me with my bustle petticoat and an additional petticoat on (see, I'm wearing more than one petticoat!  I'm learning!)
And finally, two pictures of the whole dress (sans jacket buttons, but I rather like the look of it without it...and it may be a bit of a stretch to acutally fasten those buttons, so I may not even try).  Also my hat!  My hat isn't done yet.  I plan on adding a draped portion in the back and (hopefully) roses, but a simpler hat for this dress won't be so bad if I can't get the flowers to work. 
But first, the original inspiration fashion plate, for frame of reference...
And my dress!

I apparently can't wear stuff without it being crooked...I'm looking at you, lapels and overskirt.  Speaking of the overskirt, thought you can't see the back, it's not bustled, just constructed "wrong."  The instructions say not to gather or pleat excess fabric in the back otherwise the back won't look right.  But I did anyway because there was so much fabric to take up in the waist, so I made several large knife pleats towards the center back, and between that and the side pleats, it created its own loose bustled look.  And yeah, it did mess up the original bustled design, so don't do what I did if you like the original look.  It just makes the back look like a crumpled mess.


That side view...oh man.  I'm super proud of this dress, you guys.  I didn't realize how awesome it looked until I put it all on tonight.  Normally it just looks like a lump of fabric on the couch, but now it's a dress.  And I really think the blouse part makes it, that deliberate breaking up of all the red and black.  I'm glad I decided to carry that through to other things as well. (the bag has a white tie, and the parasol, due to things out of my control, happens to have a white frame...and I may make white and black flowers for the hat).

So, what's next?  Let me get all this done first!


  1. I agree, the blouse is just the right touch. This dress is just fantastic Andrea!

    If you wanted to work more white in, you could add a small undersleeve. That'd look neat with the split sleeve cuffs.

  2. Thanks! I can't wait to wear it in a couple of weeks!

    For the undersleeve, could I just make a partial sleeve from the plain bodice? I've never made an undersleeve before...

  3. If you look at the pattern for the TV collars and cuffs, there is a slim undersleeve that would work with your sleeves. Just use a rectangle of fabric in the right length that will gather to the fullness you like, leave a vent, and put a button band on the wrist. I wouldn't even make elastic for the top end (like the pagoda bodice undersleeve), I'd finish the top end and baste it to the sleeve just above the split. I basted the lace into the sleeve ends of my black and silver vested bodice in this way so I could change it out if I wanted to.

  4. Ooh, I forgot about that pattern! Definitely something I'm going to have to get eventually. I was looking at some tutorials for men's detachable cuffs from that era, and they look similar, so I may use those as a frame of reference. But other things take priority, so I may not get to the cuffs this time. But I do like the look of it, so it'll definitely be an addition down the road!