1844 Poe gown

I made this dress to wear to the Poe Birthday Celebration at the Poe House in Baltimore, in January of this year. I liked the pattern for this bodice in Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1; very Colleen Atwood-esque! Originally I thought about making it in the black silk I have, but scored some cheap wool from fabric.com and decided to use that instead. It's taupe, and probably the most boringly-colored wool I have ever seen, but the 1840s weren't exactly known for their blindingly bright colors, so I decided it was Good Enough. Plus wool in January around here is always good!

Unsurprisingly, I got myself into a time crunch at the end, and therefore the sleeves are bad. If I wear the dress again, I intend to make new sleeves, this time with the cutouts that are on the original. Also, hopefully less ill-fitting. Besides the sleeves, though, I quite like this outfit -- even if it weighs a ton with all those petticoats!

I also made myself a mantle to wear with this dress (again, the whole "January" thing!). I think I might actually be more pleased with it than the dress -- probably because I made it before the dress, so I wasn't running out of time! No, I will never learn.

It's based on this mantle from Nancy Bradfield's Costume in Detail, though the original's made of silk taffeta, and I wanted mine to be more substantial, so I deviated quite a bit in materials! Mine's made of brown cotton velveteen, interlined in cotton flannel, lined in pink cotton, and trimmed in fake fur leftover from the Tudor gown. It was pretty warm; or, at least, I don't think I'd have been any warmer in modern clothes! It was a cold day!
I also made a bonnet (which I didn't get around to trimming --surprise!) and mitts. At the event:
I am so bad at doing my hair.
Hee, I look so rotund all bundled up! And yes, blurry picture with Maggie. I cannot be blamed for this one, as I didn't take it! We didn't get a whole lot of pictures, but it was a great time!

One more thing to post, and then this blog will be up-to-date with my costume pieces. That probably means I should sew something...


  1. I love this dress! The mantle looks great too! Mine is also ginormous!


Post a Comment