1840s Blue & White Dress

Dress in a blue and white reproduction printed cotton, lined in cotton, seams piped with cotton, hand-sewn with cotton thread. Bonnet of gray silk with blue silk taffeta ribbons, and probably more decoration that is yet to be decided upon!
Dress Diary
Now that my petticoats are nearly done, it's finally time to start planning for dresses to go over them! To begin with, I'm going to make a simple dress with clean lines from some blue and white reproduction printed cotton I found locally at a great price in the spring. For the bonnet, I purchased some pale gray silk taffeta, and some blue silk taffeta ribbons. I suspect I will add more trimmings to the bonnet, but I'll wait until I have it together to decide what else it needs.
Fabrics for the Dress & Bonnet
Patterning the bonnet is already well under way. I have a few little tweaks to make to my pattern, and then I will be ready to cut into the buckram!
Mock-Up of the Bonnet
I've set aside the bonnet for now, so I can focus on the dress, and get it done in time for Dress U 2012! Here is my first draft of the bodice, and with the petticoats. (First time wearing the petticoats over a corset! Though, I'm still not wearing a chemise, and it's not the right corset. . . That is a project for a future date, when I have more time!)
First mock-up of the bodice
And a bit closer up, front and back:
First mock-up of the bodice, front  First mock-up of the bodice, back
Making progress! Now to tackle the sleeves. . .
Bodice in progress
Done! In the interest of time, I secretly did some of the inner seams of the bodice by machine, but I hand-finished anything that would be visible. The skirt I did by hand, and let me tel you, that is a LOT of cartridge pleating by hand! I just love the way it turned out. I can now live out the Jane Eyre fantasies I've had since I was little and first read Jane Eyre! ;)
Finished ensemble, front view Finished ensemble, back view
Finished ensemble, at piano
"You play A LITTLE, I see; like any other English school-girl; perhaps rather better than some, but not well."
Finished ensemble, tragically posed
Pining for Mr. Rochester on the moors! ;)
This page © 2011 by Jennifer E. Lithgow