July 8, 2017

Summer Sewing

Is this summer going fast or what?  While I am keeping busy at the museum, and with some other commitments, I feel that I am not sewing or blogging nearly enough or as much as I would like.  I may or may not have a four page sewing list and the stash to match!  Aah clothing was soo much better in the 19th century!  

A dress in progress.

Anyways, I thought I would compose a quick, summer sewing list of projects currently in progress, many of which I hope to finish before college begins again:

(1)  Late-1820s Red Roller Print Dress. When I came across this fabric four years ago, I snatched up a dress-length plus some to reproduce one of my favorite late-1820s extant dresses in the Snowshill Wade Costume Collection.  Something about all of those vertical, horizontal and bias stripes made me happy, and I just need it!  

Red roller printed fabric.

Dress c.1825-1830
Snowshill Wade Costume Collection
(Source: National Trust Collection, 1349130)

I had wanted to finish it in time for the c.1826 4th of July celebration at the village, but alas...good thing it's an annual event.  In addition to the dress, I would like to make a new set of 1820s undergarments (shift, long corded stays, and corded petticoat), large double collar, cap and apron with pockets and matching navy ribbon trim.  I've also dreamed of playing around with a hard-bottomed reticule, perhaps using a woven basket as the base?  

Hem facing.

Pinterest board for this project:  1820s Stripe Dress

(2)  1830s Orange Squiggle Dress.  Another dress in progress...all cut out and ready to be assembled!  I had intended to make this for the Hosmer Dinners earlier in the season, but ended up abandoning it post-cutting out.  I find that the most enjoyable parts of a project for me are the initial planning/designing and cutting.  I tend to lose my momentum after that - CADD (Costume Attention Deficit Disorder) strikes again!   

Orange squiggle fabric!

Dress c.1832–35
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection
(Source:  MET, 2009.300.948a–e)

For ease of dressing by one's self, this project will include a front opening dress with a gathered bodice overlay, and matching pelerine with fun scalloped edges.  Accessories will include a gathered cap, wide green silk belt and buckle, as well as a double ruffle chemisette like this one:  

Chemisette, c.1825 - 1835
Snowshill Wade Costume Collection
(Source: National Trust Collection, 1349953)

Another skirt hem done!

Pinterest board for this project: 1830s Squiggle Print

(3) 1860s Birthday Dress or the Purple Plaid Dress.  I sort of ran out of time this year for a birthday dress seeing as the 5th of July has come and gone...though I had been planning this last teenage hurrah for half the year!  I came across 6.5 yards of this lovely plaid silk twill at a local second hand shop and snagged it at a incredible price for a plaid skirt and white blouse combination.  Since it was to be my 21st birthday dress, I thought a short puffed sleeve blouse would be a nice nod to the teenage styles, which I'd like to try before I lose the chance.  Two yards of yummy black silk taffeta were purchased for a Swiss waist with streamers like this:  

Young ladies, c.1861-1865
(Source: The Barrington House)

Plaid silk for the skirt, black silk taffeta for the Swiss waist,
and cotton lawn for the puffed sleeve blouse.

To make the ensemble more versatile, I planned to either make a matching day bodice with pagoda sleeves...

1860's Lavender & Gray Silk Stripe Dress
(Source: Ebay #17137)

...Or a matching plaid silk waist as well!  And probably a long sleeve blouse to go with it too.

Purple plaid silk dress, c.1865
Kent State University Costume Collection
(Source:  In the Swan's Shadow)

Silk for my project, with the black stripes running horizontally.

Pinterest board for this project:  1860s Purple Plaid 

(3.5)  1860s Undergarments.  I still need to finish a new chemise and drawers set, as well as the matching under-hoop petticoat.

(4)  Maria Reynolds, Hamilton Cosplay.  Oh Hamilton, coming from a theatre conservatory, I must have listed to you at least 1000+ times in the dorms, and another 1000+ times since then!  Just for fun and not intended for historical use!  I began this project over the winter, and think it would make a good entry for the September - Seen Onscreen challenge of the Historical Sew Fortnightly.  

Jasmine Cephas Jones as Maria Reynolds in Hamilton.

The start of my cosplay including 18th century style supports and petticoats,
over a 19th century corset and shift... 

(5)  Three Important Projects (not for me) - these include a wedding veil, 19th-century baby layette, and toddler size sacque coat, but that's all I can say for now ;) 

Future projects worth mentioning here include two bustle dresses - an 1870s lilac polonaise and an 1880s plaid & velvet ensemble!  I have been dying to try the late-Victorian Era, which means an entire set of new undergarments and supports.

For the lilac polonaise, I purchased 3 yards of a coral sateen and 5 yards of sage silk to pair with the main printed cotton.  I also saved a length of white China silk and forest green velveteen for a hat and accessorizing.  

Coral sateen, sage silk & lilac printed cotton.

Dress detail, c.1872–75
(Source:  Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986.304a, b

Forest green velveteen and white China silk (not pictured)
were set aside for a bonnet and further accessorizing.

For the 1880s ensemble, I have 8 yards of a lightweight cotton plaid for a bustle skirt and over-skirt draperies to go with a navy cotton velveteen bodice.

Plaid cotton, navy velveteen, ombre ribbon & velvet flowers.

I'm also really in a regency mood!  One of the projects that I would like to make is another morning robe to wear over a white petticoat with puffings and tucks:

As well as a sheer, light yellow cross over gown accented with wool challis borders and a tall stovepipe bonnet trimmed with bright orange ribbons:

With that, I'll be all set with projects probably until the next summer! 


  1. Happy Belated Birthday dear Anneliese!! I can't wait to see all of your projects come to life! I am looking forward to your squiggle dress and the late 1820s dress!! Everything else looks like it's going to be magnificent!! I can't believe how fast summer is skipping by. I can't wait for fall and the temps to drop back to livable degrees! Now hurry and get to work so we can see your great creations!

  2. Now that you have given us your wish list...I feel I must crack the whip and hold you accountable to finish. Shall I set before you a sewing challenge? Remember the other day when we were discussing when our friendship really took root? I do believe that is one of the ways we got to be such good friends...bemoaning over our list of sewing projects, and if memory serves me correctly, you issued me a completion challenge right back. Thus, we would check in on each other frequently. So my dear....or should I say...SEW my dear!!!!!