Sunday, December 28, 2014

1860's and Still Handsewn...A Very Late Post!!!

At Costume College this year I took an amazing class with two living history historians from Colonial Williamsburg; Janae Whitcare and Emma Cross, master seamstress and apprentice from the Mantua Shoppe at Colonial Williamsburg

We draped a 1860's bodice taken from a gown they recently located and studied. 

Although The Mantua Shoppe of Colonial Williamsburg doesn't venture into the 19th century often, apparently every once in awhile they have an event that calls for Victorian wear.


Many people are under the assumption that with the advent of cotton gins and the sewing machine that everyone sewed their clothing on a sewing machine. In actuality it wasn't until much later on when the creation of sewing machine loans (payment plans, etc) that sewing machines in every home became more common place.

The dress Janae studied is taken from the mid 1860's and was still handsewn.

We were taught the various stitches found on the gown and how to put in together by hand in a period correct manner.

 A mosmosh of stitches...
 Running stitch.

Running stitch and button hole.

Combining running stitch, ruffles and piping.

Shot of the back.

Piping done on some yarn.

Please understand that this is a work in progress and could possible take me a whole year to complete!!

But I wanted you to see the amazing detail on the reproductions Janae and Emma made and show you the fabric for my dress. (I am very tempted to cheat and sew it up real quick on my machine BUT I won't!!!!)

Anyway, my lovely table partner at this workshop was Katherine and she helped fit my bodice over my corset (apparently depending on the way it was made you can wear this without a corset and multiple petticoats).

And a shot or two of my fabric.

Now the amazing detail on Janae's dress.

Piping on the armsyce.

Hidden Center Front Placket and Wrist band and Ruffles

Gingham used for the hem with a slight over hang.

And this cute lil hat!

Apparently this hat was all the rage around this time.
Regular size hat with doll hat inserted in the center.
Velvet ribbon "x" spaced out on top and a ribbon on bottom to tie to on to your head! 

Easy peasy!!

As my handsewing progresses I'll post updates :)

Until later ...

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