Monday, November 19, 2018

Striped Linen "Lewis & Clark" Gown from Past Patterns #031

At the William Holmes McGuffy Birthplace, Greenfield Village
For a while there it seemed like everyone and their mother had made a gown out of this pattern, and I've always loved the tiny back and unique shape of the armscye that it creates.  I also originally fell in love with this fabric from Burnley & Trowbridge, only to have it almost sell out before I could get any!  I ended up ordering a remnant and wistfully figured I could make an apron or something out of it.

Imagine my delight, then, when this lovely striped linen came back in stock!  I made sure to buy enough for a dress this time.  I deviated from the pattern a bit with the skirt--the original upon which the pattern is based had piecing and a shaped tuck in it to shorten the hem in front, but I didn't feel the need to copy that exactly.  Instead, I added three 1" tucks for decoration (and a little bit of body), and omitted any piecing.  I do want to extend the drawstring casing in the front waist--there is a LOT of linen gathered into a very small space right now and I can't actually get it as tight as I would like.  If I make the casing a little longer, the fabric will have more space and I will be able to tighten it fully.

The back of the bodice ended up being quite long on me when I made it as the pattern directed.  This final length is actually shortened--and I feel like it could still be shorter!  I already moved the skirt once, though, so I'm not terribly motivated to take it off again to move it up.  It's within the realm of acceptable which is good enough for me right now.

Fortunately if I do decide to raise the waistline, there's plenty of length in the skirt.  I certainly wouldn't want it any longer, since this is a nice sturdy dress that I can do work in!  For the event pictured, we madevarious fall-themed recipes over a fire to demonstrate historic cooking.

This is what I *actually* looked like for the whole was cold and a bit rainy, and since we were cooking I had my trusty checked apron on for almost the whole time!  But the dress served me well and I'm very happy with how it came out.  With a couple of tweaks I can see it becoming part of my regular reenacting wardrobe for a long time to come!