Hello everyone! Hard to believe October is upon us, and boy, do I have so much to share from the last month! So much so that I had a hard time choosing where to begin! But I thought it best to get some of my Civil War clothing shared as I got so busy with trying to complete it, I haven't had a chance to give any updates! So here we are- the grand day I get to share with you both my inspiration for my assemble this year, and the completed look to boot!
Sneak-peeks before I show you the photos that inspired the pieces I made this year. ;)
So, to give a little background before I hop into what I ended up with making: I really wanted something plaid for this year's reenactment, something easy going, but a step above an everyday calico like I made our first year and wore the last two. I decided upon finding a plaid with a white background and maybe doing some black contrasting trim on the skirt and sleeves. That was my plan all along, even back when I had making my chemise on my list.
But then. Then I remembered how after all these years I've wanted to make something lightweight delicate looking. (Think 1900's white colored blouses.) So I began my search to see how historically accurate having both a plaid and white blouse would be, and to my grand delight it was indeed a historically appropriate to wear the two together for sure! Just look at the photos I found!
While it was oh so exciting to see that I could both wing off the plaid I so wanted and be able to make a gauzey blouse, I then had to think; if the blouse was as see-through as I wanted it (and the pictures I found showed) how then could I wear my sleeved chemise I had just completed? I was torn to say the least, but I decided to go with the plaid and white blouse separates and cross the bridge of what to do with my under garment situation later.
The blouse: The photo of the blouse in the bottom left inspiration picture collage was amazing to find as its an original piece from the 1860's! It was basically just what I wanted. So the task of drafting something up began. I ended up using the bodice pieces from the pattern 7212 by Simplicity; a rather fitted bodice, but the sleeves of that pattern were fitted also which is not what I wanted, so for the sleeves I used Butterick B581 which are much more full.
Now that I had my bodice pieces I would use set, I still had to figure out the lining. For that I basically just completed outer blouse itself and then went back in and measured it to draft the pieces for it, after the bodice darts were all sewn in.
The fabric was actually the middle part of a king size bed skirt! Looks and worked oh so perfectly right?! I used my treadle machine from start to finish and then of course did the hooks and loops and tacking (to keep the lining in place since its otherwise only held in my the bottom and side seems) by hand.
And, to my utter delight, the chemise situation ended up working out out totally fine! I was worried the short sleeves on it would ruin the look of the blouse by wearing it underneath, but after I tried on the two together, I found my worries were invalid and was able to wear them both! Next time around though, I'll be sure to think about my entire for sure plan ahead of time.
The skirt: I've done loads and loads of gathering in my life, but pleating is something I've only touched on in the past. When it came to making my skirt, I knew I wanted to attempt to pleat it instead of gather it, not only for the experience, but because pleats were very much adorned in the 1860's and make for such a nice appearance!
I used the skirt of Simplicity 7212's dress pattern, same pattern as the bodice for the blouse. The only thing was was that I had basically zero directions for any of the pattern as I picked it up from a thrift store! I got by by looking at similar patterns directions and the markings on the actual pattern, but for a while there I was quite amiss at exactly how the pattern wanted me to fold them because the lines were not marked all the way around. (Not to mention this pattern is no where to be found now! So finding it to at least take a look at was a no-go.)
It was actually super fun to pleat! I adore how it turned out and the plaid actually helped aid in this being my first time since I simply had to follow the lines down to lay them straight! So looking forward to playing with them in the future!
I purchased the fabric from Whittle's Fabric after Esther from Dolly Creates mentioned they may have just what I was looking for! Though I had a larger plaid in mind to begin with, these colors were so nicely accurate I decided to go with the smaller print. Besides, after seeing that this too was accurate (not only larger plaids, see my inspiration pics) I snatched up a few yards! This print is called Softly Spoken.
I hope to pick up a nice buckle for my belt for when I wear these separates again so I won't have to use just a straight pin, but even so I really do love how this whole look came together!
Looking forward to jumping back into the blogging world again!
Thanks for all the comments you guys have recently left! It means so much, especially when I haven't been as active in posts!
the elder sister & writer