When I made the blue striped gown over the summer, I intended that to be my reenactment dress. And it has been for most of the year, but I still felt a little overdressed at some events, and I was still hesitant to get it dirty - it was a replica, after all!
So, I knew that I needed to make something even more casual - a shortgown.
Over spring break, my mom and I spent a Mother-Daughter Day together shopping, and we revisited Verna's Fabrics, the same store that I bought the material for my Dolley Madison dress from. I was initially shopping for some cotton with sewing themed prints so that I could make modern clothes that express my love for being a seamstress, but I was also keeping an eye out for anything I could use for a historical project. I found two great cotton prints (I've already used one of them, I'll post about them when I've finished both projects), as well as a nice white cotton with a small purple design that I'll be turning into another Regency gown. At the far end of the store, after our cart was pretty full, I saw a barrel with rolls of fabric sticking out of it. The fabric was soft and in a lot of pretty colors, and the sign above read 'Homespun'. I was ecstatic. This was just what I needed! So, I grabbed a roll of the prettiest purple fabric, and bought enough to make a shortgown.
|The gorgeous fabric with some pins and markings, ready to be cut.|
I am very fortunate to have such great friends, because when I got back to school, my wonderful friend Fiona, from Ruffles, Not Rifles offered to help me pattern and drape it! We spent a fun Sunday afternoon cutting it out and getting the back pleats right, and then I started sewing! We looked at Costume Close Up for references, but shortgowns are easy to pattern because they're just rectangles and straight lines. It went very quickly, which was good - it meant I still had time to sew a petticoat and an apron before the National Event at Mount Vernon!
|Starting to cut it out...|
|...Fiona cutting it so I can take pictures...|
(These pictures were taken the last week of April - our apartment is just really proud of our Christmas decorations)
|...and the basic shape of a shortgown! The bit on the side that sticks out from the curve allows for a pleat.|
|I tried it on immediately after cutting to make sure that it would fit|
|and then Fiona draped the pleats on me so that it was a little more fitted!|
|These are the pleats from the back, pinned in place.|
|The basic shortgown, all pinned and ready to be sewn!|
I still had some leftover white linen from my shift laying around, so I turned that into an apron. Then, using some 'larkspur blue' linen that I got from a sale on fabrics-store.com, I whipped up a petticoat. I was especially in need of a new petticoat to wear with my shortgown, since my other petticoats are all made out of questionable materials... To make my petticoat even more special, I used twill tape from the Fort Frederick Market Fair that I attended a few weeks ago! The color is an almost perfect match!
The outfit came together in about four days, and I got to wear it for the reenactment this past weekend! Unfortunately, it was a little cold, so all of the finished pictures I have also feature my cape, but I'll post more of just the new outfit soon.
|This is me and my friend Morgan - the shortgown had just lost a pin, so it's gaping a little, but I fixed it soon after. My new apron, as well as my mitts from my lovely roommate, and my new market bonnet are also featured here!|
|I re-pinned my shortgown, just in time to meet General Lafayette! He was wonderful!|
|This is one of my favorite pictures from the event on Saturday. Claire and I hadn't realized that we matched, or that this picture was even being taken!|
I'll put together a post soon about the events of April and May, because there sure have been a lot of them! I'll add in pictures that better show off my new clothes then. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Happy sewing!