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Author Topic: 1830's Romantic Era Dress (TV455)  (Read 2321 times)
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Elidh
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« on: February 09, 2011, 08:14:45 AM »

Well, I am starting my regularly scheduled, Annual Pre-1860's Conference Panic Mode Grin, and have decided to sew a new dress, late 1830's, using Truly Victorian 455 as my base pattern (with some changes in the sleeves, etc).  I have a few questions about the pattern. 

1.  The pattern requires twill or denim interlining for the bodice pieces (in addition to lining).  Is that necessary?
It also calls for the skirt to be lined, but I won't - my fabric has plenty of body.

2.  I calculated that, when made up according to directions, the skirt will be ~ 126" circumference.  What is the range of skirt circumference in the late 1830's?

3.  The pattern calls for 7 pieces of boning, for darts, side seams, etc., and it says to use spiral boning for the curved back seam.  The only boning I've used is the Needle and Thread steel boning.  Is Heather talking about the spiral boning you buy from corset supply places?

Thanks for any advice - wish me luck!
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BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 09:42:20 AM »

I don't know why she's called for that interlining in denim. I haven't made that dress, but I've worn similar dresses made from other patterns, and they don't have that extra interlining in them.

Try using the stays you already have. If they don't work out, then buy spiral bones. And yes, she means the kind you can buy from corset supply places.

As for skirt circumference, it's narrower than the 50's and 60's, so I'd think that quote sounds about right. I can't think of a range of numbers to tell you. I just have an image in my mind of the size of the poof.  Wink The shape is more straight up and down, verging on a bell. Rather than a sweeping triangle shape like the 60's.

You will need a sleeve poof to get that fullness. Does her pattern include directions for making a poof?

Good luck!!!!!
B.
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Elidh
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 09:54:31 AM »


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You will need a sleeve poof to get that fullness. Does her pattern include directions for making a poof?


I won't be making a poufy Gigot sleeve.  I'm copying the style of several original late 1830's dresses I have pictures of, and plan on sewing parallel rows of gathering at the top of the sleeve to bring the fullness down.  There will be a slight poof at the elbow.   

Thanks, Barbara!
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Roxanne B.
BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 10:30:37 AM »

Oh I love that sleeve! So much easier to wear, too.  Cheesy

Cheers,
B.
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Maggie Koenig
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 11:56:32 AM »

Skip the interlining.  I also think you could skip some of the boning as well.  If you are wearing a nice supportive corset you shouldn't need a ton of boning in the dress.  I really really don't understand boning the curved back seam.
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Maggie Koenig
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Jessamyn
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 12:03:48 PM »

Agreed, those are very strange instructions. I haven't seen any of the things you're questioning in extant garments of the period. Interlining? No. Lined skirt? Not usually - but they do usually have very deep facings in this period...think 12" kind of thing.

Boning, when used, is usually limited to three in the front - CF and two shorter angled ones - and two in the back, on either side of the opening. I've never seen boning on the curved seams, which makes sense, because spiral boning hadn't been invented yet. This is not a period where stiffness was admired.

However, 125" is a normal skirt circumference for this period.
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Elidh
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 12:33:19 PM »

Thanks Maggie and Jessamyn - that's very helpful! 

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Roxanne B.
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 07:01:55 PM »

Hijack alert! Wink Elidh, you couldn't have asked these questions at a better time . I just got scads of new patterns at a local thrift store for 50cents a pattern. Grin One of them is the Wisconsin Historical Soctity 1835 dress. I laid it out yesterday,but but developed a bad case of fear of cutting and haven't attacked it with the scissors yet. The pattern calls for 2 widths of fabric for the skirt,and 3 for the petticoat. I thought that seemed a bit stingy in width so I allowed for 3 widths in the skirt. My fabric is only 42" wide. I plan to make the collar and perline out of white broadcloth,due to not quite enough of the dress fabric. Would a piping or trim of the dress fabric be out of period on the perline edge? I was considering doing the same sleeve as Eldih, but If I did do the "big 'ole sleeves" how do I get them to stand out? Will a good soak in starch do it or do I  need to line the sleeve in crinoline of some kind. Thanks.  I now return this thread to its rightful owners. Cheesy
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Beth Chamberlain
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 08:17:35 PM »

The gigot sleeves were held out with sleeve "puffs" stuffed with down, http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/sleeve-puff-one-of-a-pair--116986. If you do the gigot sleeves remember that they need to puff out not up. You want a long arching shoulder line not the square shouldered perky puff of the 90's (reversal of those is a pet peeve of mine).

Bradfield's Costume in detail lists skirt widths between 116" and 144" in the 30's. I would say you definitely want at least  3 widths.

As far as I have seen pelerines came in two varieties - same fabric as the dress and white muslin. I haven't seen any colored trim on a white pelerine. All of the white ones I have seen have been from very fine muslin trimmed in whitework of various sorts. I wouldn't recommend using broadcloth, it's going to look very heavy. 30's were bold in some structure and color but were delicate in texture and detail.

Beth
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Jessamyn
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2011, 11:49:17 AM »

Listen to Beth - it's all spot-on!  Smiley

The only thing I would add is that the white muslin pelerines don't have to have whitework. They can be plain fabric or cross-barred, with or without white embroidery, insertions, or edgings. But they should definitely be fine and definitely be all-white.
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2011, 02:49:49 PM »

Dittos to the aboves!

Late-30s, the skirt fullness is still set in either pleats, or hand gathers (not gauging). The switch to gauging, and the quick expansion of skirt circumferences, happens in the 40s.  So, 130" or so will be very nice for this window; I'd not push it above 150" at the very outside, and that's only if a person is quite, quite stout... as in, yard-and-a-half waist-stout.
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Regards,
Elizabeth
BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2011, 02:53:25 PM »

....and that's only if a person is quite, quite stout... as in, yard-and-a-half waist-stout.

Oh goodie! By that measure, I'm not "quite stout"!  Grin

LOL,
B.
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Auntie B says: "I may look like Aunt Pitty-Pat, but I have the soul of Belle Watling," and "Since I can't be a good example, then I'm just gonna have to be a horrible warning."
Elidh
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2011, 03:00:33 PM »

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So, 130" or so will be very nice for this window

My fabric's 54" wide, so I guess I'll go with 2 1/2 widths.  In my 50's-60's dresses I put a little more fabric in the back for a liitle oompf....For the 30's, is the skirt fabric pretty evenly distributed?
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Roxanne B.
Elizabeth
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2011, 03:14:06 PM »

Fairly even, but a bit more in the back is also quite normal from what I've seen so far. Some of the late 30s dresses can be quite confusing, as they can be flatter in front, and people mix them up with the late 19th century dresses due to the strapped down gigots some mid-later 30s dresses have. It's all fun.
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Regards,
Elizabeth
Elidh
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2011, 03:30:51 PM »

Thanks, Elizabeth!  One more quick question....I want to wear a black belt with this dress.  Would the grosgrain belt I wear for 1860's work, or should it be fabric?  (The dress is silk and rather fancy)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 03:34:52 PM by Elidh » Logged

Roxanne B.
Elizabeth
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2011, 05:01:02 PM »

I'm not fully versed on the 30s accessories, unfortunately... I know that the stabilized silk belts will be fine, but I'm not absolutely sure on the belts. I'll try to think of where best to point you for the fashion details... maybe Godey's plates?
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Regards,
Elizabeth
Jessamyn
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2011, 05:58:10 PM »

Belts in this period are usually very wide (wider than midcentury belts), and in fashion references at least seem usually to be either self-fabric (sometimes piped at the edges with contrast material) or silk ribbon, often in a matching parure with narrower ribbons for the neck, wrist, or hair.

There is a distinctive tall, narrow style of buckle that was worn with them, or else they are unseen-fastening sashes, possibly tying in the back. Some of the descriptions mention long ends.

It helps when researching them to know that in period fashion magazines these belts were referred to as ceintures, from the French.
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Elidh
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2011, 05:54:46 AM »

Thanks again, Jessamyn!  Very helpful!
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Roxanne B.
Robin C
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2011, 09:39:38 AM »

I vote for the interlining.  I have made TV bodices with interlinings and others that were similar with out interlining.  Maybe it's personal preference but the one with the interlining had a much better appearance.  (I used washed cotton duck).  The same goes for the skirt.  The skirt made w/lining had a much smoother appearance--but, because you are the designer(seamtress), it is your decision.  It is not impossible to get an answer from TV if you have a question concerning their pattern. 
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Jessamyn
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2011, 10:30:47 AM »

The issue is, were interlinings normal practice for dresses of the 1830s? And the answer is no. So unless you are making the dress as a stage costume rather than reenactment clothing, you should skip an interlining. Likewise, skirts of this period tended not to be lined unless the material demanded it for some reason, so if your fabric has sufficient body, you should not line it.

I have a feeling the TV pattern instructions are backwards-engineered from the designer's area of greatest expertise - bustle-era clothing - a period in which clothes were indeed very solidly made, heavily boned, stiffly constructed, etc.
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