Thursday, March 9, 2017

Under and Over: 1860s Half Mourning Cotton Dress and Cage Crinoline

Last weekend I once more had my 1860s mourning display set up at a local Civil War reenactment. About a week before the event, I decided it would be crazy totally reasonable to finish the half mourning printed cotton dress that I started two years ago. I'm glad I pushed through and finished it because I'm quite pleased with the dress even though it's cotton (what can I say, I love silk and wool!).

To make a cotton dress more interesting, I did a yoked bodice with pleats and piping and played a tiny bit with the directions of the stripes. The bishop sleeve, while not really flattering, is useful if I ever want to roll up the sleeves in a working environment like cooking or doing laundry. The bodice is only partially lined in the yoke and in a strip under each arm, as seen in a few originals like this yoked dress.


I also thought it was about time to photograph my Needle and Thread 116" cage crinoline and petticoat that were made last year. This kit is so incredible... If you're serious about 1860s clothing, it's completely worth the investment as every single piece is perfectly reproduced from originals. I got the 110" kit and squeezed it out to 116". Looking back, I should have called up Needle and Thread and asked for a few extra yards of hooping because they have excellent customer service and I could have made the cage 120" like I originally wanted. 116" is fine, though, and looks very nice under my black and white checked silk dress (I'm not wearing it in the pictures above because the skirt for the cotton dress was cut to fit over my old 108" hoop). Because of the considerable back thrust of the crinoline, I need to make a little bum pad to support the back of the crinoline and keep it from tipping forward. But I'm trying not to feel too badly about it because this original is doing the same thing! ;-)


The petticoat was inspired by this original at the Met, and others like it.


Myrthe said...

It's such a lovely dress. The fabric is gorgeous. I know most about mourning dress in traditional Dutch costume, a little less about historical costumes. The fabric of this dress really reminds me of some of the mourning clothes from the town of Spakenburg. They still use a lot of historical and even antique fabrics which are really beautiful.
Also, that cage is stunning!

Caroline said...

Lovely! And I love seeing the insides. The partial lining is very interesting. That is what I'm seeing there, right? Cotton is generally on my boring list, too, but the fit and print of this gown are lovely. I like the yoke. And I love seeing the finished crinoline and petticoat! I've had one, 90% assembled, hanging in my sewing room, since last September. I've gotta finish that thing! Actually, I think I used some of that eyelet I got at Coco last year for the petticoat. Cheers!

ladyestelle said...

Great post !:-D

Time Traveling in Costume said...

Your choice of the beautiful and rich purple fabric is to die for. I'm a big fan of purple, and of course mourning dresses. Sad but so elegant at the same time.

L. R. Stern said...

You look great! I really like the bishop sleeves, they look elegant :)

Unknown said...

What a gorgeous blog you've created! I've been scrolling through your earlier posts and am amazed at all you've created.
Just one thing: you keep posting "peaks" of your new projects. Unless you're punning, it should be "peeks" instead.

Michaela said...

Hi there! I loved your podcast with Abby Cox!

I had a question about half-mourning; were you expected to throw out your half-mourning clothes once you were completely done with mourning? Or can it sort of cross-over and you can keep wearing it afterwards?

Michaela said...

Also, if you were mourning, say, a grandparent or cousin, would you just divide your mourning time in half to figure out full mourning to half, or are there some instances where you would not even start in full mourning? Or skip mourning? Do you have a post on this somewhere already on your blog?

Unknown said...

The dress is really beautiful as purple is already my favorite. All the designs seems really interesting and I hope that my designer will be able to recreate some really interesting designs out of it. I have been trying to get the designs regarding Plus size wedding dresses so as to get stuffs at reasonable rates.

Paulina said...

omg! this crinoline is stunning!

Unknown said...

Wow Very Nice Post I really like This Post.Please share more post.latest blouse designs

rahul said...

Thanks for sharing great post. I really like this post.
Web Development Company Surat

عبده العمراوى said...

شركة عزل اسطح بالنعيرية
شركة تنظيف فلل بالجبيل

rahul said...

Thanks For Sharing his nice Info. I like Your post.
Click Now
Click Now
Click Now

Sierra Nibbe said...


I was told by my doctor that there's no possible cure for it but it can be suppressed with the use of medication!! I felt depressed & sad. I started taking my medication. I felt frustrated, so I tried to seek help online when I came across this website of a doctor called Chief Dr Lucky.  Also I saw a lot of testimonials about him on how he uses natural herbal medicine to cure HIV AIDS and numerous Infections & different kinds of disease as well. So I contacted him and told him my problems after a brief consultation with him. He Prepared and  sent me the herbal medicine and I took it as he instructed me, Then he called me 3weeks after to go and have a check-up!! It brought out testing negative, I felt calm a bit, and the doctors day for more clarity I will have to come back after 1week of which I did and tested negative for the second time !! I am so wow and grateful to this doctor whose medicine has NO SIDE EFFECT, there's no special diet when taking the medicine. He also have cure for 
You can contact him via Email: or whatsapp +2348132777335

Anonymous said...

Few weeks ago my girlfriend told me that she was fed up, so she packed her stuff and left me while I was taking a walk to cool off. When I got back, I was so messed up because I didn't even know what to do, it was like my whole life was coming to an end. That night I drove to a friend’s house and he was nice enough to give me a description of a man who did spells that could bring her back for me. He said this man brought her fiancée back to him after 2days. The man's email is, it was this man that then did a spell and brought Claire back to my life. She was now so humble and calm, she was respectful and lovely even more than i can imagine. This man is really strong and accountable. I never regret anything through him. meet him if you need help in your love life. visit his website you may find your solution there

Brittany Seiber said...

To know more about Chief Dr Lucky you can visit his website (
 A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.

Florence said...

I started on COPD Herbal treatment from Ultimate Life Clinic, the treatment worked incredibly for my lungs condition. I used the herbal treatment for almost 4 months, it reversed my COPD. My severe shortness of breath, dry cough, chest tightness gradually disappeared. Reach Ultimate Life Clinic via their WEBSITE . I can breath much better and It feels comfortable!