Today I have the second post about my 1840’s dress to share! This piece is made from a dotted cotton and based on an extant garment.
If you missed part one, it can be read here. We left off with a partially assembled bodice, and some fit problems in the shoulder.
My solution for the problem was a patch that is about 2″ wide. All of its edges are piped, and its curvature matches the armscye so it doesn’t stick out *too* badly. This gave me enough room to easily get my arms into the bodice – with a bit of space to spare for the sleeves!
With the pieces fully connected, I stitched piping into the armscye. Unlike the other methods used for this bodice, this time I sewed the piping to the bodice with the right sides facing each other. Then I turned the seam allowance of the piping inward and whip stitched it to the lining.
The raw edges were covered later on with bias binding.
I also stitched piping around the neckline, using the same method.
Then I put the bodice on my dress form – with the the wrong side facing out. And I pinned the yoke lining into the bodice. This is the BEST way to line fitted garments that have some shape to them.
After removing it from the form I slip stitched the lining into position.
Now onto sleeves! Sleeves are usually my nemesis, but the design for these doesn’t require a lot of fitting, so it was relatively painless.
Here you can see my mockup (top piece) and the two part pattern I ended up with. The top piece attaches to the bodice, and has ruffles stitched to the bottom edge. The second piece supports the second tier of ruffles.
Speaking of ruffles – these were made from 42″ x 4.5″ strips of the cotton. I hemmed them by hand with slip stitches.
I had to hem four of these strips in total (two for each sleeve). But it was fun! I hadn’t had a simple hand sewing project in a long time, I really enjoyed zoning out in front of the tv while doing this.
The ruffles were also gathered down by hand.
Here is the top portion of the sleeve attached to the first ruffle. Piping was inserted into top piece of the sleeve before stitching the ruffles on…because that is the 1840’s for ya!
Ruffle two sewn on to the second piece of the sleeve.
The side seams for each piece were done independently, so they layers can move freely.
After stitching the side seams I whip stitched the pieces together from the inside.
And that is the process of making pretty, ruffly sleeves. These were actually my favorite part of the project – I never thought I’d see the day when I say that about SLEEVES! But I guess if there are enough ruffles I’ll enjoy making anything.
These were stitched on to the bodice by hand, and the seam allowance was whip stitched down.
The (almost) finished bodice looked like this!
At some point along the way I turned the back edge inward, and stitched in hooks/eyes.
But I’m going to redo this at some point, since I realized after photographing this project that the bodice is too big. I’m going to switch the hooks out with bars, and have the back edge overlap by 3/4″.
And that is going to be the end of another post! I’m trying to keep these short so I can space them out somewhat. Next time I’ll talk a bit about the skirt and the matching bonnet!
Thanks for reading – and for the response to my first post about this dress. I appreciate the patience regarding my lack of updates!
6 thoughts on “1840’s Dotted Dress – Part Two”
I have been watching your videos and following your posts for some time. Everything is always lovely. It all reminds me of myself about 50 years ago. I was doing much the same thing, only no one knew it but my family. I’d have a new outfit to wear most every week. I think all I have left of those days is one corset. Do you find blanket stitch gives a better finish to the lacing eyelets?
Whenever I see an old dress in a museum, I long to see the inside. Thank you for showing all the steps of construction and how the inside looks. It is such a treat. Please keep on going! And thank you for all the hard work you put into sharing these lovely pieces.
Your 1840’s dress is coming along wonderfully! I always love your projects and how you share your creative process. I can’t wait to see your next posting. Good luck!
The bodice looks really good so far and I like the double ruffle sleeves!
Beautiful and inspiring! I love all the hand work!