Sunday, January 5, 2014

HSF 2014 Challenge #1: Make Do and Mend - Part 1

What do you know, I think I am actually on track to finish the first HSF challenge of 2014, on time! I am so excited! I still have to keep up the momentum through the week and finish up the sleeves, but hopefully that won't be a problem. My darling boy volunteered to cook almost every night, so that will free me up in the evenings. I've just got to bang out that sleeve pattern tomorrow night!

I tried on the dress one last time, and almost couldn't chop it up. Too many good times in this dress! However, I had already pulled off the sleeves to (unsuccessfully) re-vamp them, and I've been bothered by the various period-incorrect bits of this for a while now. So... after taking these pictures, I sat down and picked apart all the seams.

Bodice off, 2/3 length cut off of the skirt, and trimmed a bit off the lower
skirt to even out the skirt-front into a nice, tidy rectangle. 

I don't have a lot of in-progress pictures (oops), but today I got almost everything thing together but the sleeves. I popped it on the form and noticed... a couple problems.

The front is pretty cute. The top-front is gathered separately from the bottom-front (as observed in extant short gowns and jackets). There is a bit of awkwardness going on at the side-front bodice - I think my drawstring might be going back about 5"-6" too far, allowing some awkward gathering of the bodice shell. Hopefully tacking the drawstring down at side-front will even that out.

The shape at the side skirt dips in a bit, probably because it is a straight-up rectangle. And the pleats hang kind of "chunkily." However, I am pretty sure my skirt shape is correct, so I won't be correcting that.

All that remains is to trim the armscyes to form a more period-correct back shape, and pop on the sleeves. Then there are a few finishing bits like the hem and under-bodice, but that shouldn't take more than an evening.

I am so ready to have a completed project!


  1. Hello - I'm in the process of making a short gown (I've also heard it called a half robe? Have you heard that?), but from scratch, and I'm using it for the challenge for bodice, so my question for you is, you wrote in another post about seeing it in a book. Can you take a picture of it from the book and share it with me? I'm curious to see what it looks like. I hope you enjoy finishing and wearing your "new" garment!! I love the color.

    1. Woops! Totally thought I had replied to you, but I guess something went wrong... I will post the Costume in Detail picture in my next post - it has a lot of great details called out. Mine will be a little different in that I am closing it down the front (with just a slit at the top to get into the thing). But it is still super helpful. Hopefully I can post it tonight!