Civil War Mourning Gown

A mourning gown had been on my “to sew” list for many years, but I was motivated to finally get it done to wear to the exhibit opening of “Death Becomes Her” a Victorian Mourning Clothes exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was done enough to wear there but I am in the process of adding more trimmings and details as I am wont to do…

The smooth line of the fitted bodice emphasizes the small waist with wide shoulders and the width of the hoop.  This effect is emphasized with the cartridge pleated waist.

This gown is made from silk taffeta, self piped,  lined with polished cotton and is hand finished to complete the period look.

  • Mourning gown
  • Machine sewn inner seams
  • Hand finished (hems, edging, hooks and eyes)
mourning back

Photography by Drew Harting

mourning carriage

Photography by Drew Harting

IMG_0161

Photography by Drew Harting

Regency Peacock Blue

full view Peacock Blue Regency gown

full view Peacock Blue Regency gown

image image image image image

A Peacock Blue Regency ball gown made from a vintage silk sari, created for my mom who does English country dancing and also for the Historically Sew Monthly  February Challenge… Something Blue

The Challenge: Something Blue

February

Fabric: Vintage silk sari with metallic trim and wooden in dots, lined with cotton

Pattern: crossover bodice modified from sense and sensibility pattern, sleeves cut down to above elbow

Year: 1800

Notions: sash of extra sari border,  turban of pallu piece 

How historically accurate is it? As close to period plates and extant gowns as possible while working around the sari weave and the firing of the gown

Hours to complete: Total: 20  (Cutting and fitting: 3, Sewing: 15, Hand finishing: 2)

First worn: B, February 10, 2015

Total: $45 vintage silk sari $25, cotton lining $20, thread ?

And the few construction pics that I took…

Historical inspiration images…

Fashion plate

Fashion plate

Princess Maria Louisa Auguste of baden Empress Elisabeth Alexeievna Elizabeth Alexeievna (13/24 January 1779 - 4 May/16 May, 1826) was the wife of emperor Alexander I of Russia.

Princess Maria Louisa Auguste of baden Empress Elisabeth Alexeievna Elizabeth Alexeievna (13/24 January 1779 – 4 May/16 May, 1826) was the wife of emperor Alexander I of Russia.

Left: English dress and petticoat, c. 1790- 95, Center: French round gown, c. 1790-5 both held by the Kyoto Costume Institute, Right: India, dress of Lady Chambers of Calcutta, c. 1795-1800, property of Martin Kamer.

Left: English dress and petticoat, c. 1790- 95, Center: French round gown, c. 1790-5 both held by the Kyoto Costume Institute, Right: India, dress of Lady Chambers of Calcutta, c. 1795-1800, property of Martin Kamer.

1810

1810

Venetian 1500 Gamurra

cropped-DSC02182a.jpg 

Portrait profile

Photography by Baron Bardulf Rauen

This is my new undergown for 1500 Venetian, created for Atlantian Twelfth Night and also for the Historically Sew Monthly January challenge…

The Challenge: Foundations- January

Fabric: Chemise of cotton voile, Gamurra of green and gold jacquard linen and rayon blend, bodice lined in 2 layers of cotton canvas, eyelets sewn with linen thread

Pattern: Drafted and refitted from my fitted body block to an under bust bodice, sleeves cut down from my sleeve sloper

Year: 1500 venice

Notions: gold braid trim,  gold ribbons (replacing now with silk and points), black ribbon for mourning, luceted lacing cord 

How historically accurate is it? As close to the portraits as I could get with little evidence from extant garments other than chemises, each decision regarding construction and cut were done after comparing multiple images,  my neckline is not quite as broad but that was based on coverage and support needed in the bodice which is unboned but is the foundation garment

Hours to complete: Total: 32   (Cutting and fitting: 6, Sewing: 12, Eyelets: 14)

First worn: Atlantian Kingdom Twelfth Night, January 10, 2015

Total cost:$102   fabric and supplies from my stash other than new silk ribbon and aigrets just acquired to add on,  estimate $24 voile, $48 linen blend jacquard (yay for half price remnant bin), trim and thread unknown,  when added $26 silk ribbons and $4 aiglets

venetian full length left

Photography by Baron Bardulf Rauen

And the few construction pics that I took…

Cutting out sleeves after bodice back got a centered motif

Cutting out sleeves after bodice back got a centered motif

Creating eyelets on bodice

Creating eyelets on bodice

Closer view of eyelet construction

Closer view of eyelet construction

Trim and shoulder eyelets

Trim and shoulder eyelets

First stage done, time to finish sleeves

First stage done, time to finish sleeves

And the inspiration images:

Squared neckline but higher than some, love the ribbon detail and the black ribbon for mourning, her necklace also inspired one of mine

young venetian woman Durer

Photography by Baron Bardulf Rauen

Squared neckline and more ribbon and sleeve detail, fine gold work on edge of chemise

Supposed portrait of Bianca Sforza,an illegitimate daughter of Lodovico il Moro,c.1500

Photography by Baron Bardulf Rauen

Squared neckline with longer bodice, could be front closing with ribbon ties as on sleeves, looped and draped necklace, headband with stone

Leonardo da Vinci, La Belle Ferroniere, 1490.

Leonardo da Vinci, La Belle Ferroniere, 1490.

Ludovica Tornabuoni, by Domenico Ghirlandaio

Photography by Baron Bardulf Rauen

Rounded neckline with short bodice, both layers front closing, undergown closing edge to edge, overgown closing in wide V to show undergown, interesting partially sewn sleeves on overgown