26 October 2012

Historical Reproduction: 1918 Day Dress Construction Photos

 Well, I am nearly finished with my most recent historical reproduction. It's not a direct reproduction, but I'm happy with it, and it's all taken from historical sources (or sources that are sourced from historical sources - hah). Anyway, I started with a neutral geometric pattern. Originally it read as being a very creamy fabric, but the more I worked with it the more I became of how starkly white it reads. I'm not very happy with the fabric, though it was very cheap (roughly $4 a yard at a local big-box craft store). I'm actually considering tea staining it, though we'll see if I have the nerve to risk it. 

This was my first time doing pin tucking, and I had to do three reeeeeally long straight pin tucks on the skirt. It was nerve wracking!

Here's a shot of my first muslin of the top. The neckline was seriously wonky, but I liked the sleeves, so I pressed on. This eventually, after many, many times basting and tearing out stitches, became the basis for my blouse. I love wrap-style blouses; they tend to be fairly flattering to my busty figure.

I was becoming concerned with the cut of the dress, thinking it looked more and more silly, until I pinned the skirt (complete with it's adorable pockets) to the blouse. This was when I got excited. :)

The fit is nearly perfect! This was my second time drafting a dress exclusively on my own and I'm pretty happy with it. I still need to finish some edges and add hooks and eyes to the side-closure. I'm also torn about weather or not I should use lace or embroidery to embellish the pockets, cuffs and modesty panel. I expect I'll have some more photos for you sometime soon. I'm hoping to con(vince) my brother into taking some better photos for me tomorrow.

So what do you think? Is the print too stark white? I really worry that it's too modern for this dress. Should I tea stain it?


  1. Keep this up and I may have to commission a dress from you for a *particular* special occasion in 2014...

  2. Also, not too white. I'm fairly certain they had bleach or were able to attain similar results. It's lovely.

  3. Next time I'm in town I should make copies of my Great Grandmother when she was a young woman in the early 20th century. I swear I've seen photo's of her wearing a similar dress. Hmm...