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Topic: 9 day civil war dress; plus underpinnings  (Read 12718 times)
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« on: June 12, 2008 04:22:36 PM »

I completely revamped my wardrobe this year, and topped it off with a new dress. All pictures are clickable.

To make the period clothes work, you have to have two very important foundation garments. A corset, and a crinoline. The corset was drafted by using instructions at Your Wardrobe Unlock'd. Made of cotton coutil and steel boning.

The crinoline is what makes the skirts stand out; you simply can't go without a crinoline (a.k.a. hoop skirt). This is a reproduction crinoline, bought as a kit and built by myself. I am not aware of anything closer to crinolines of the day, so naturally I had to have it.

And to keep the skirt from showing the ridges of the steel boning, you need another petticoat to soften the lines. The skirt is attached to the waistband with a method called stroked gathers. The material is gathered with two running threads by hand, and sewn on to the waistband, each little fold at a time. By hand. Twice. Even I think I'm nuts at this point:

And this is the kicker. The dress! There's a story behind it. My friend is getting married this Saturday. The theme is civil war, of course. All reenactors attending have been encouraged to attend costumed. Up until the beginning of the month I did not think I would be able to have a new dress done. The dress I was planning on wearing was stained beyond recognition, and I had thought I would be wearing a dress several years old, and several inches short to boot. Luckily, my manager came to my rescue on June 2nd, and bid me not to come back from lunch. Little did he know that his timing was perfect. I set to work immediately. 9 days later, and this is the result.

Indeed, I am aware that the petticoat shows beneath the back hem of the dress. I need to put an additional tuck in the petticoat, but I had already expected that to happen. The dress, in all respects, however, is done.

There are more things than just the dress though. I have slightly-longer than shoulder length hair, and it's layered as well. Layers + Buns = Rats Nest. But I found a way to style my hair in a mostly period fashion, and it's staying up!

And just one more part you haven't seen. The shoes! If I wanted the best thing to be had in crinolines, I certainly wasn't going to neglect my feet. I got these in the mail yesterday and I've been wearing them all day. From Robert Land Footwear, Ltd., I give you the American Walking Shoe. Very nice (with a little 19th century immodesty thrown in for kicks). I might just be crazy, but don't they look shmexy?

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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008 04:28:17 PM »

wow! You did a fantastic job! My DH & I always talk about how cool it would've been to live back then .... anyways fantastic work you did!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008 04:28:35 PM by bsonlytoots » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2008 06:37:20 PM »

Absolutely gorgeous and oh-so-authentic. You look just like an old Daguerreotype. BEAUTIFUL!

I heart mod podge.
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2008 07:08:40 PM »

What a beautiful dress!!  My 6 1/2 year old son is a Civil War buff and we have been talking about taking him to a reenactment.  We have friends whose family has done reenactments for many, many years.  They have offered to let him borrow one of their uniforms in his size!!!!!

lanna to the max
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2008 07:17:30 PM »

Very cool, and the dress is beautiful. Great job!! Cheesy
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008 09:23:31 PM »

Wow! I'm amazed!


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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008 09:35:57 PM »

I'm impressed! Very cool!

« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008 08:10:05 AM »

Really, only 9 days!? Very impressive!
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2008 09:26:50 AM »

Wow...that's amazing!
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2008 06:10:52 AM »

Ooh, it's really pretty and looks like it was a complicated process!

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