Two-Piece Dress, date TBD

This dress is copied off of one contained in the "Snowshill Collection," as seen in Costume In Detail (pages 79-80), and on the National Trust Collections web site (jacket, skirt). The original dress is made in two pieces; a skirt with attached bodice, and a separate jacket that wraps and ties closed. The original is in an assortment of linen and cotton fabrics, but for my reproduction, I will be using all cotton, including a reproduction print that is not quite like the original, but very appropriate for the era. My dress is handsewn, and from my patterns of my own invention.
Dress Diary
4/15/12
I decided today is the day I would start this ensemble, starting with the "skirt," which is attached to a sleeveless bodice. I found it interesting that there is almost no shaping to the pieces of the bodice; there is just a side seam and the center front opening seam. I had my doubts as to whether or not I would be able to achieve a good fit without darts, but surprisingly enough, it worked! I think it has to do with how low-cut the bodice is in front. Now that my pattern is sorted out, and my fabric ironed and ready to go, I am ready to start actually sewing! I ripped my skirt panels, and will begin sewing them in front of a good movie tonight. . .
4/25/12
I've been slowly-but-surely working away on the brown spotty two-piece Regency dress. The underdress, or skirt-with-bodice, is almost done, and the jacket/bodice that goes over it is in the progress of being patterned. Before I went ahead and finished the underdress (aka, went pleat-crazy), I wanted to make sure I had the length right, so I just gathered and basted the skirts to the bodice. I decided it needs to be just a tad shorter, so I'll make that change, and go back and pleat instead of gather (as that's what the original had), and finish the center front, and this half of the ensemble will be done!

Here are a couple of pictures I snapped while fitting:
Bodiced Skirt, Front   Bodiced Skirt, Back
5/18/12
Done except for hooks and eyes!
Bodiced Skirt, Front   Bodiced Skirt, Back
It looks pretty much the same as in the last pictures, I know. . . But I assure you, it's not! Between those sets of pictures, it went from sloppily pleated/gathered, to beautiful practically uniform 1/2" pleats! Too bad the fabric is not printed quite right so the dots look a little funny. . .
Bodiced Skirt, close-up of pleats
Also, I've started patterning the top half of this two-piece ensemble. . .
First mock-up of jacket, back
It doesn't look right yet, but, this is the first draft! You can see where I've penciled in potential changes to wher the seams land. I'm currently letting this simmer while I contemplate what I want to do with it. . . And meanwhile, here is the front, which needs a TON of work, but still, it's a start!
First mock-up of jacket, front
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This page © 2012 by Jennifer E. Lithgow