When I made my first period gown, I had no idea what I was doing. This is a common theme for this blog. But I knew I wanted some specific things:
- Looks good under my burgundian.
- Easy to make.
Simple enough, right?
I used Rosalie Gilbert’s T-tunic tutorial which worked really well, except my arms are longer than the fabric I used. Who’da thought? (Me, I thought that).
Other issues: the neckline would look odd with the Burgundian, and I didn’t want lacing to show. I also live alone, so having lacing up the back was not an option. Side lacing would have to happen.
Add a square neckline. No problem. Except I wasn’t great at sewing sharp corners well,
and it’s a good thing I wore the overdress for my first event. I fixed it over the holidays, made the corners a bit sturdier, but alas, I am a buxom lady and a square neckline is a bit risque without an underdress or camisole.
Side seams and lacing wasn’t too bad once I figured it out and it was hidden under the gown.
I also cut the dress too short. This is a common issue for me, it seems. Added to the project pile for this dress was to add an additional 3-4 inches to the hem.
Another holiday task was to take my gown in. I had lost a few pounds since originally fitting the dress and now even with side lacing, it was too big. Additionally, the seams were fraying a bit, so I took advantage of my new knowledge of french seams and did that for the majority of the dress. I also re-laced it to be a bit tighter and added cuffs to my dress so my sleeves wouldn’t be comically short. I did not do this well.
Behold, my re-lacing job was not good.
Since then, I have done some things. I re-laced in brown, lost another 5lbs, tried lacing tighter, ribbon came out during a moot, and gave up on the sleeves ever looking good with my wrists sticking out so I chopped them off (the sleeves, not my wrists).
It’s seen its fair share of use as a camp dress and loaner garb. It is the Joann’s Linen Rayon Blend, so it’s not ideal, but it was cheap. And now, since I started this post (in 2016!!!!), the blue french transitional gown is going to be used as a dress for fencing. This meant going back, adding sleeves, adding some trim around the neck, going back to hemming the dress up another inch or two.
Honestly, this dress is… not great. But I don’t have time to make the multiple new outfits I’d like for Pennsic fighting, but this will fill a gap that I’m going to need next weekend as I again become a quick change artist and go from fighting to an in persona class to fighting again. I’ll stop teaching on days I plan on fighting someday, or at least, I keep telling myself that.
It’s a lie. I’ll probably still do that.