Friday, May 30, 2014

1864 Half Mourning Dress (of Fail)

Remember that side trip to the 1860s I was making?

Well, I got to go back to Michigan for the Greenfield Village event (where Mike and I got engaged two years ago) because we got a nice tax return AND Tim Eriksen was playing! How could I pass that up? It was lovely to see so many friends, like Katie. She kindly took pictures for me, because my stinkin' camera is still missing... It has all of the construction detail shots of my riding habit and a new cap... *grump* I had a really fabulous time visiting everyone, and even got to spend time with my in-laws.

Naturally, I wanted a new dress, and since I spent the last year doing so much mourning research, I felt a half-mourning ensemble would be enjoyable to put together. Since it's 2014/1864 I wanted to choose specific elements that would place the dress and bonnet in that year, for example the slim coat sleeves and wide box pleated skirt. The contrast-colored vest bodice absolutely abounds in fashion plates from this year, and you can look through the ones I posted on my Pinterest page.

I also covered and decorated a soft crown bonnet frame from Timely Tresses, after an 1864 fashion plate (bottom lefthand corner bonnet).

My antique veil and lace shawl (that I shared pics of aaaaages ago) got to come out to play, and I bought yet another parasol! But it's a tilting marquis parasol, and I don't have one of those! Plus, I promised Michael that I would sell one of mine. So if you are interested in an 1850s parasol that needs recovering, message me. :)

However... As excited as I was to make this, I rushed near the end (I only had 2.5 weeks, with a bum wrist--De Quervain's tendonitis) and I am unhappy with the result... 

1) The skirt is too short
2) The underbodice is too big
3) The double points are too far apart
4) The pinked trim frayed miserably

Those are things that for the most part I can fix... But I don't know when that will happen. I have SO much to do for Costume College. *sigh*

So I half-heartedly share these pictures with you. At least I have killer accessories, right? :-/


Ken Giorlando snagged this picture of me in the flower-laying ceremony on Memorial Day. 

A nice shot by Lee Cagle, who works at Greenfield Village. 

Me and Tim Eriksen. He signed my shape note hymnal!


Historical Ken said...

It was great to see you again.
I, too, thoroughly enjoyed the Tim Eriksen performance - 2nd time I've seen him (first time was back in '04 or '05 I believe).
I was so glad to hear he and his group play "I'm Going Home" - I never tire of hearing that beautiful and uplifting hymn.
Take care and, who knows, maybe we'll see you in Williamsburg next spring.

Alexa said...

You do have killer accessories! And some lovely fabric choices, even if you're not happy with the entire project.

I have trouble with pinked trim too! I made a 1780s gown with a false zone-front edged in pinked trim and it was a mess by the time I got home from the one ball I wore it to! Someone told me that FrayCheck is a must, although I'd feel bad using it for accuracy reasons. How did they get pinked edges to hold in the past, I wonder?

The Quintessential Clothes Pen said...

Lovely accessories, and a lovely purple flowered bush to pose in front of! I love how delicate your veil is.


Anonymous said...

Love the color combination and so jealous you got to meet Tm Eriksen!

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried this but I wonder if starching fabric prior to pinking it would discourage fraying?...?

Lindsey said...

So glad that you posted your list of things that you want to change/don't like about the dress - which, by the way, looks stunning! Every time I make something new I have things that I want to change before I wear it next or things I wish that I would have done differently. Nice to see that I'm not alone! :)