Friday, November 14, 2014

1830s Plans: Shoes, Bonnets And Dresses

This year, I made the decision to bow out of participating in the Annual Dickens Christmas Fair.
I have my reasons, namely to clear some of the clutter from my overly full plate of hobbies. This will not only make room for some much needed rest on weekends, but allow for more leisurely sewing. The kind of sewing I actually enjoy the art and journey of, instead of forcing my way through it in a mad rush, because of the 10 other things that need to be finished that week.
But (there is always a 'but'), I will still be making a new dress and bonnet to wear to Dickens.
So you see, I can't escape that easily. Honestly, I enjoy Dickens Fair. I especially like to take part with friends, but this year I just can't dedicate myself to playing a full time character every weekend, or even part time. Of course I'll attend, I just won't be playing a character this year.
My friend Laura and I will also be revisiting Dickens Fair sewing plans that have been on the back burner for over a year now; 1830s dresses!

I'm using the Truly Victorian pattern for an 1830s dress, and making my own adjustments. Some kind of mantel for my shoulders will probably get made, too. And let's not forget the millinery! I want something foofy and obnoxious. A bonnet that almost borders on a large brimmed hat...or what I've been calling "The Bonn-hat":

 As for footwear; looking at these and the ballet slipper-like shape of the toe, I may have found something modern that I can cover in satin and build up a higher cut vamp, paint and/or modify in some way. Adding a ribbon bow on the vamp, and adding ribbon ties can also give them a more accurate look, similar to these extant examples below:

 Original 1830s ladies plain satin slippers

A modern option to use as a base, Square toe flats from Blair

And for the dress, I'm hoping to find a very light blue taffeta (praying I find silk for a good deal).
I want to make this dress convertible, and make a second ballgown bodice. I'm a bit torn on this though, since I wanted to make an 1850s ballgown for the 12th night ball. Who knows, it could still happen!
For now, some 1830s dress inspiration:

This design of the green one above is absolutely divine


  1. I love 1830s! I'm so excited to see what you create. I'll be wearing my recent 1828 dress to December Gaskell and 12th night! I hope to get pictures with you!

  2. Oo, I love that green one! Looking forward to seeing this come together, 1830s are so much fun.

  3. This could be fun! Looking forward to seeing the progress.


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