This little dress has been lots of fun for me so far! The colors and shape make me so happy. Since my last post on this dress, I finished the sleeves, replaced the plastic back bones with steel bones, and pleated and attached the skirt.
For the skirt, I had to futz around a lot to get the shape I was looking for. I'm dating my dress vaguely between 1827-1831. It's when the skirt and sleeves are still a bit small (well, small for the Romantic era). It's flat in the front and full in the back. I couldn't find many sources on this style. I found many fashion plates from the time frame I am aiming for.
I also referred back to the PoF 1827-1829 dress, but I didn't think I had the patience for the shaped panels or the pleating style. But it did give me the idea of the knife pleats point in towards the skirt front and the cartridge pleats in the back.
Here's my process. For the front panel, I played around with knife pleats, figuring out how many I needed and how deep to make them. I ended up with 4, 1-inch deep pleats on each side of a 6-inch flat front.
|In progress pleats.|
|Pleats pinned to bodice.|
To add some support and structure, I padded the pleats with purple cotton. I sewed the front panel to the two back panels. Then, I cartridge pleated the back, also padded with purple cotton. To prevent the skirt from pulling on the delicate lower edge of the bodice, I used twill tape as a waistband that I later tacked to to the sturdier innards of the bodice.
|The pleats turned out a little too tight for my taste, but|
I made it work.
All of that brought us to where we are now! The hem is just pinned up right now, but will be faced with more cotton for support later. Now, I just need to finish the hem, make and sew on the trim, and make another petticoat and teeny bum pad.
Over and out.