Sunday, December 11, 2016

1850s 1860s Isabella's Work Dress by Timeless Calico Designs

There was an upcoming Dickens Festival in Tacoma, Washington. For fun I decided to challenge myself to make a dress in a week. Because crazy. I bought this particular pattern early in 2016. It was designed for re-enactors to use. It makes up quickly and is a very simple design with a nice pay off. The pattern includes all the pieces for the bodice and skirt pocket. The skirt they give you the dimensions to cut. Just simple rectangles. The directions are easy to follow and include simple hand drawings.

Size and alterations:

Size L
Added .75 to each side seam
Removed 1 inch from dropped shoulder.
Shortened waist .75 (I am short waisted)

I landed in between sizes L-XL. My first muslin was the size L and it was a bit too tight across the fullest part of my bust. The fit in my upper chest/shoulders was really nice. So I decided to use the size L and add .75 to both side seams. I figured I could just take it in as needed. I also have to remember to allow for skirt bulk and petticoat bulk. Something I like to forget...a lot. Also, any design with a dropped should seam I take off about 1-1.5 inches. They are always way too low. I also shortened the waist by .75 inches. The sleeves run a bit short and tight at the cuff. FYI.

Fabric and construction:

A blend of wool, rayon and poly fabric stuff. This dress would be FABULOUS in a good quality plaid flannel! So TEMPTED! If you have 45 wide fabric you will need at least 7 yards. My fabric was 60 wide and I had 5.5 yards. I was left with a 14 inch piece of fabric when done. Because my fabric was 60 wide I only used two skirt panels instead of three.

The dress goes together easily. The bodice is underlined and the neckline and arm openings are trimmed with piping. The skirt is just gathered onto the bodice. I didn't add pockets to the skirt just to speed things up. This dress has no boning in the bodice. You could certainly add some to the sides if you wished.

Because the cuffs are tight I did not use a button hole and button. Instead I made a loop of round elastic and added a ball button on the other side. The sleeves just slide right on and I don't have to struggle with buttoning cuff buttons to get the sleeves on and off.

I machine stitched the hem for speedy finishing. I also used two lengths of navy blue gimp at the hem. One to cover the machine stitching and the other at the very edge of the hem. Helps give the skirt a little extra body. It was nice to use up some odds and ends I had floating around too.

End notes:

This is a really great little pattern. Makes up easily and quick. Perfect for theater, re-enactors and regular costumers. I will make it again. This dress is designed for ease of movement. If you think Victorian costumes are not comfortable and don't wear a corset then this a great alternative to Laughing Moon patterns or the Big 4 patterns. I honestly think once you get the bodice fitted you could make this in a day.

The Tacoma Dickens festival is always the 2nd Saturday in December. It is just a small event located in the Tacoma Stadium district and at the WW Seymour Botanical Conservatory.

 Good times with good friends!

 Shameless stealing of my friend's vintage fur stole. I mean, it's called a stole, right?
So I stole it!

 The Poinsettia God, Steve.

 Shameless selfie in the horseless carriage!

It was cold, windy and rainy outside. I made this lovely hood to keep warm. Pattern by Anna Worden Bauersmith. Available on Etsy as a PDF. Nice pattern with good instructions!

Cap--Miller's Millinery pattern 2012-1. Technically a Regency cap but I don't care. :-) A very easy make. I made it by machine and just serged the edges and narrow hemmed them. Easy Peasy. Then just put a bow on it!

1 comment:

  1. I looked up the regency cap pattern, but I'm only seeing that they sell the caps themselves, not the patterns. Could you post a link?