Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Abigail's 1820's gown

Abigail was first on the list for getting a new gown as she has the fewest, although Elisabethe did nicely offer to give Abby all of her old gowns and then she could have a new one instead. :-) I wanted to make the gown as a companion to mine but with somewhat smaller sleeves. It has the wide neckline typical of the period with some cotton lace basted in, I wanted to make a lace frill but the lace was too clunky to frill well so it's just basted in flat.

For this era the armscyes aren't dropped very much compared to the 1860's and the sleeves are set in without rotation, matching the sleeve seam to the side bodice seam. The waistline is still fairly high and the skirts are long, lower than mid-calf. The outer waistband is cut on the bias, whereas the inner waistband is cut on the straight grain to minimize stretching. The sleeves are gigot, although very tamed down and they too are cut on the bias. This is an exceptionally simple style to sew and I'm very pleased with how graceful and feminine it looks.

It's always a great event when someone gets a new gown, everyone admires the lucky recipient and then the discussions start on who will be the next one to receive a dress. They like to watch while I sew and note the progress, a sure incentive to make haste! I'm amused (I *am* easily amused I should note) that it never occurs to them that dresses can be purchased. Here it's a great flurry to choose fabric and trim, they are conversant on armscyes, the merits of silk or cotton ribbon, soutache braid, bias trim and the differences in sleeve styles. I think it's great but then I did confess, I'm easily amused. :-)

14 comments :

  1. WOW! That is awesome!!!! It makes me want to get my Romantic era dress started all the more. But I really think I should make my paletot first. :/

    That's so sweet about about your girls. :D

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  2. She is so cute and sweet. I love her new dress. What fun it must be to see your children's excitement at watching you sew.

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  3. That is just darling!! I love the lace frill. How do you keep up with your sewing, my dear?!? I'm ready to swoon just thinking about all the clothes the boys need this season :)!

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  4. She's such a lovely young lady, and her dress is marvelous!

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  5. Oh, she is so beautiful. Each picture is better than the last. These really could be posters or calendar pages.

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  6. How very lovely! The bias on the sleeves and waistband makes for a pretty accent. It is cute that your girls think dresses must be made- my daughter was the same when she was small. We went shopping one day and she saw a baby wearing only a onesie and commented- Mama, why doesn't that baby's mama make it any clothes?

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  7. Thanks for the kind words everyone. :-)
    Lissa, I *don't* keep up with my sewing, lol. It's a constant source of anxiety for me. I try to sew everyday and I *try* to have a sewing hour with the girls after lunch. A little bit here and there can really add up.

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  8. That is a simply lovely gown! All the details that you put into it really add up to make a beautiful piece! WONDERFUL work! This makes me want to start on another plaid gown :)

    Blessings to you,
    Bethany

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  9. She is exquisite - and so is the dress. :) I love the 1820's and am so jealous since you get to make girls clothes from that era! You did a beautiful job with the sleeves, especially. They are just full enough without being awkward or bulky. She looks perfect! Did you make up your own pattern, or use one in particular?

    Oh - and speaking of 1820's dresses for girls - I came across a drawing of an extant "pinafore gown" from the mid-late 20's in Costume in Detail that reminded me of something you would make your daughters. If you don't have the book, let me know and I can scan it and send it to you! I'm thinking of making an adult version for myself for summertime wear. :)

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  10. Enchanted, Mrs. G.! I hope to someday dress my own children in such a fashion, hand made and wonderful. Your blog is a beautiful inspiration, thank you for imparting some of your life to us!

    Rose

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  11. Sarah, I don't have that book. I debated getting it or Patterns of Fashion and ended up buying the Janet Arnold book. I'd love to see it!
    Mrs. G

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  12. One of many things that are on my to do list... learn to sew. I want to make my future daughter dresses like this. You are a great inspiration.

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  13. Lori,
    Take heart, sewing at least isn't hard! Time consuming, but not hard! :-)
    Mrs. G

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