Sunday, July 21, 2013

Victorian Tea in Riverton

So - the few of us that were going to Fort Mifflin's Civil War Saturday changed our minds somewhere around Tuesday, after much checking of the weather forecast and deciding nobody really wanted to fall over from heat exhaustion. Didn't want to waste all that work on our sheer dresses, so we decided to have tea (INSIDE) instead, and extended the invite to some more of our friends, making it a Victorian tea in a Victorian tea house in Riverton.

Which had delicious food, by the way. I had the rose tea, which I really enjoyed and should've bought from the gift shop!

I love this group shot!

Because I'm generally bad at camera things (though I did bring it this time!), my batteries died after four pictures, so most of these are borrowed *ahem* from Robin and Kat.

Our bustle ladies
And our hoop ladies!
Just hangin' out on the porch
Kat lounging elegantly!
The plant in my face is a nice touch
Looking wildly unimpressed with something
Perched on the porch railing with my fan! I like this one.
And full-length shots of my dress, since you've been hearing about it and it's new and all!
To reiterate the specs (because I think I'm going to count this for an Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge! Didn't intend that, but it is white):
Materials: bodice lining of white cotton muslin, dress of 12+ yds of self-striped cotton organdy...and you can't even see the stripes. Oh well. And 56 yards of 1/8" navy blue silk ribbon.
Pattern draped by me.
Heavily inspired by the lady on the left in this 1862 fashion plate:
...except that I really needed to keep to the Stash for this, and didn't have any polka dot sheers!
It's 90% machine sewn - which is out of the ordinary for me, but it's post 1860 (my machine sewing cutoff date), plus as much fun as I think hoops are, they're not "my" era, if you know what I mean. They're not the period I'll spend ages and ages researching and meticulously making every detail as correct as I can! The silk ribbon, at least, would look a lot neater if I'd hand sewn it - but ain't nobody got time for that. So, for me, it's a very sloppy dress. (Even considering all the time I spent making it.) And it's got a Mysterious Stain on the front of the skirt. And it still needs real closures at the waist and the neckline trim that fastens at the left shoulder like a bertha.

But it's pretty, and it's fun to wear! And hey, now I have a fluffy summer Victorian dress, if I ever need one again. (Unlikely.)


  1. I adore your new gown! It's perfect for summer. Ah, why today we don't wear such dresses? :(

    1. Thank you! They are very pretty - if impractical, because I barely fit in the car with those hoops! :D

  2. Love it, it's perfect! You look beautiful :)

  3. Lovely! All those dresses are so pretty! And you are so lucky to have a group this size! My group is 4 strong. Two of us sew and two buy other's works. Then we have several guests that borrow dresses from us. I look forward to the day that our group gets so big.

    1. Thank you! I *was* lucky; I found this group out when most of them already knew each other, so there was already a decently-sized group. It makes for some really delightful lawn parties! :D

  4. Your dress looks fantastic! I love all the ruffles, so pretty! Looks like you and the other ladies had a lovely time.

    1. Thank you! It really was a fun afternoon!

  5. Fabulous work ! I think I need a crinoline now...

    1. Thank you! Crinolines are a lot of fun; I highly encourage any and all crinoline endeavors! :)