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1863 Day Dress

1863 day dress 1863 day dress

1863 day dress

1863 day dress 1863 day dress

 

This dress was made with the intention of being as historically accurate as possible. Although corners were cut, ie. electric sewing machine, all the buttonholes are worked by hand and the cuffs and collar are tacked in place so they can be removed and starched separately. I drafted the pattern taking inspiration was extant garments I saw on a trip to the Bath Fashion Museum and looking through Janet Arnold and Norah Waugh pattern books. The fabric was originally yellow and I had to dye it blue to get this lovely teal colour. I chose this colour because I did a lot of research into the period and decided not only did I like the colour, but also it was fairly popular at the time due to the new dyes that were being produced. I made all the underwear, chemise, drawers, corset, crinoline and petticoat. I enjoyed making the dress as the decoration was intricate but fun to experiment with how to replicate the different thicknesses. The buttons are made from the same fabric as the gown, but dyed a deeper blue. This gives a matching pattern but keeps a good contrast. To stop the buttons looking overly plastic I painted the back of them with black and silver nail varnish. This means that if they are glimpsed they appear metal rather than plastic. When I finished the dress I took some dirty down spray paint and a bit of sandpaper to the hem and edges to help give it a "lived in" look. It was then borrowed by a friend to get these lovely photos.

Dress Diary

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rileysfarm  
  The trim is fantastic! I love the contrast of the buttons and the trim, and your fabric dying came out lovely.  
 
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hannahsuthers91  
  Thanks :) yeah it lots of hours of sewing the trim on but totally worth the effort!  
 
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historika  
  Wow, your silhouette looks perfect, wonderful work!  
 
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hannahsuthers91  
  Thanks! The lady in the photograph is standing outside of a crinoline shop in the un-cropped version, so I was able to use the crinolines in the shop window to help with the research.  
 
romanticmedicine  
  I just have to agree with the others. Wow. smile  
 
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hannahsuthers91  
  very kind of you :)  
 
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mcburbage  
  Well-fitted and with very interesting sleeve trim.  
 
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hannahsuthers91  
  Thank you, the sleeves were a bit of trial and error as they aren't very clear in the photograph. Luckily I got a chance to go and see some extant dresses at Bath Fashion Museum and that was very useful for getting some inspiration.  
 
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pollyanna  
  Wow, Hannah. I think this is definitely one of my favourite entries. I love seeing recreations of the dress of more ordinary people and you've surpassed yourself this year. I thought last year's dress was amazing, but this is stunning in a whole new way. The choice of fabric is perfect, the sleeves are incredibly cleverly done, and the fit and silhouette has encapsulated the style of the 1850s. This is a wonderful example of costuming and I'm sure the original lady would very much approve. Amazing :-)  
 
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Hannah  
  Thank You Pollyanna, that's so kind of you to say! Working with extant costume it's very clear how little from "normal" peoples wardrobes survive...most things are beautiful but have survived because they weren't everyday dress. I'm looking forward to hopefully doing some more research into this kind of clothing.  
 

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