Sunday, January 26, 2014

HSF Challenge #1: Make Do & Mend - complete!

First HSF challenge finally finished! It is almost two week past the deadline, alas, but the half-robe is finally entirely complete. And I am happy with it. I just need a gown or petticoat to wear it over, now!

On the far left, above, you can see the under-bodice closure. It is an extension of the linen lining that is attached in the back, and it just overlaps and pins in the front. The front has two drawstring closures (neck and waist), and is a bit too full, but I haven't the time to reduce the fullness now, so I'll deal for a while. The side creates... a bit of a poufy profile, but I kind of like it. And the back looks a bit ill-fitted and awkward in this picture, but it fits better once it has been adjusted by my moving around for a bit (all my undies are a bit quickly wedged, under there.) 

I took a few pictures of the short-gown put on inside-out, because I love seeing the insides of other people's garments. You can see the draw-strings tying the bodice shut on the far-left. The interior bodice has a little skirt added (similar to this half-robe) - I took this from the previous skirt lining of the original dress that I hacked to make this piece. As you can see above, I faced the sleeves in self-fabric, like the half-robe documented in Costume in Detail (shown in my last post.)

And here are the details: 

The Challenge: #1: Make Do & Mend
Fabric: 100% cotton quilting fabric for the shell, courtesy of good ol' JoAnn Fabrics. The pattern is a bit non-period, I think. But the fiber content is pretty accurate! The bodice and sleeves are lined with linen, which is also fairly period-correct. 
Pattern: Self-drafted. Ish. Modified a dress that was previously made from a self-drafted pattern eight years ago. 
Year: 1798-1800
Notions: Twill tape (I used black twill style-tape - the kind you use to mark out style lines on your dressform for pattern draping. Should have used ivory twill tape, but hadn't any on hand.) 
How historically accurate is it? Erm... it is a bit of a mish-mosh. I'd like to say 60-70%? There are a couple of historical accuracy issues in the pattern shapes (most notably the back panels are too wide). There are also machine-stitched bits here and there, in the spots that I didn't pick apart. And the front is probably a tad too wide, a bit too much gathering going on there (maybe I'll fix that at a later date, but I will deal with it for the time being.) 
Hours to complete: Probably something like 30 hours, including picking apart. I hand-stitched everything that was edited for this challenge, so that took a while. Was fun, though!
First worn: Not sure when I'll get to wear this... not many events happening in these parts. Probably I'll pack and wear for the next Locust Grove Jane Austen Fest. 
Total cost: Almost this entire project was made from the original dress, so I would say it was free. I added a couple of twill tape ties from my stash. 


  1. Very nice. :) Congrats on finishing your first challenge.

    1. Thanks so much! I am looking forward to having something to wear under this, though...

  2. I enjoyed seeing the inside of this :) I have plans for something similar, so inspiration is nice.

    1. I'm glad - I always love seeing the insides of garments, I think that it is so helpful when considering construction. I'll try to do that with all my garments this year. Good luck on your half-robe! I look forward to seeing it, if you are planning on blogging/facebook-sharing it. :)