2017 Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge · Uncategorized

January 2017 Challenge: Firsts & Lasts

Project: First piece to my 1860’s Plaid Dress, The Chemise

Material: Robert Kaufman Organic Cotton Cambric

Pattern: Mantua-Maker, The Underside of the 1800’s, 1850-1890 Ball Gown Chemise (No. 1800-3)

Year: 1866

Notions: Thread from my stash

How Historically Accurate is it? 40-50% Used methods as listed in the pattern and from what I’ve read from research. During that time women would have used a sewing machine and since it’s an undergarment it would have been a quick project.

Hours to Complete: 8 hours

First Worn: Tried on for fit, but plan to wear in December for Dickens on the Strand.

Total Cost: Fabric $11.40/yard @ 3 yards = $34.20 + thread from stash

It’s beyond me why it was so hard to decide on what project I would tackle for this challenge. But I went back to my list of sewing projects I plan to complete this year and decided I should get a head start on the 1866 dress.

While I have an over-abundance of white and off-white cotton fabric it’s primarily broadcloth and that wouldn’t do for this project. I did some research and came across the Robert Kaufman Organic Cotton Cambric on Fabric.com. I had plenty of thread on hand and box full of vintage lace trims. I narrowed it down to two with the thought to decide once I was ready to sew it on. In the end since it is an undergarment, I chose not to add the trim as I thought it would be itchy.

The pattern from Mantua-Maker was simple and straight forward. I’ve included some WIP pictures below. Not my best work, but it is light, airy and soft on the skin.


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