Sewing Sunday: natural form, cont'd.

So! I have been sewing, a bit. Mainly hat-making, actually. I do have a tendency to make the hat to go with a dress before I've done the dress...which sometimes means I don't have a dress, but means I always have a hat! :D Did a mockup of the dress bodice last week, cut out all the pieces, and started sewing them together, then got distracted this week by the hat.

Not based on any one particular hat, but inspired by a whole slew of fashion plates 1878-81. I used TV550, which was lovely to put together (as always! Truly Victorian patterns are great). Wired buckram base, covered in flannel then navy silk. Fairly slubby dupioni, which is not ideal, but I really needed to keep to the stash for this, and it was hard to pick something to go with my blue and pink dress! I have a lot of red scraps apparently...

Trimmed with more silk scraps: cream silk taffeta and pink striped taffeta (which might look familiar...), a vintage buckle and a white ostrich drab.

And the underside, pre-trim. Lined in Horrible Poly TaffetaTM. The messy stroked gathers were totally unnecessary, considering the amount of time they took to do compared with how visible they are...but I like them anyway.
And that is Hat before I started putting the silk on. It is very attractive. Yay hat innards!

When I last posted, I hadn't finished the underskirt for the dress...
Striped silk taffeta (yeah, I know you can't tell here. Dark!) lined in pink polished cotton, and faced with hugely obnoxious striped cotton. I have no precedent for a non-solid-colored facing, but it was lurking in the stash, and was just enough for a hem facing.
There's just the one set of ties to hold the skirt back. I debated another set around knee-level, but 1/ that very extremely form-fitting skirt seems to be just a tiny bit later than my dress date of Jan 1879, and 2/ I intend to do a good bit of walking in this skirt, so ties at my knees seem to be an impractical idea!

And here are some pics of the gown itself...very much a work in progress at this point!

I had 17" of 45" silk for the waistcoat. There was definitely piecing involved here!
I wrangled a weird sort of silk facing for the CF and bottom edges, but the neckline facing is more polished cotton. Making it work!
And where the back pieces are right now. I foresee a lot of basting in my future...also buttonholes. Hoo-ray.


  1. Wooow, the underskirt ruffles are craaaazy! Can't wait to see the rest.

    1. Thanks! They were kind of fussier than anticipated to do, but I like them on!

  2. Beautiful! The hat is so incredibly elegant! I'm very much looking forward to seeing the finished outfit, it's going to be lovely.
    By the way, though I don't comment, I love perusing your blog very much - your dresses are all so beautiful. So I took the liberty to nominate it for the Liebster blog award here:

    Best of luck to all your projects:-)

    1. Thank you so much! And I really appreciate your nomination for the blog award! I may or may not get around to responding to the questions, but I'm quite tickled at receiving it. :)


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