When I found out that one of this year's competition themes was "Unloved fashions of history" I immediately knew that I wanted to try and make a dress from the Romantic era. I have always thought the fashion styles back then were beautiful in a very ugly way. So, when I stumbled across this fashion plate from 1830, I chose to use it as my inspiration for a dress, as all the little details jumped out at me.
I started off using a “Truly Victorian” pattern, altering it to fit my needs and wishes. The dress is made of green cotton, with quite a lot of cotton piping around the belt and hem and inside the tabs at the lower part of the dress. It was made as a one-piece dress with a hook and eye closure at the back. The hardest part was to figure out how to get the pleats to stay in the position that I wanted them to stay in. I had to alter the dress a couple of times till I felt it looked right.
The gown is worn over a cotton muslin chemise, long corded stays, a corded petticoat, a ruffled and heavily starched muslin petticoat, a white cotton petticoat with lace trimmed hem and wool-filled sleeve supports.
Along with the dress, I made the hairpiece that can be seen in the fashion plate, using the same fabric that I had been using for the gown.
I really like the way the dress turned out in the end. So far I haven’t had a chance to wear it, but I hope I will have a chance to wear it soon at a Biedermeier festival in Germany.