1851 Day dress
This dress was made from an etching dated 1851. It is something someone might have worn to the Crystal Palace.
It is hard to tell from the etching what the original fabric was other than it had a floral pattern. I decided to make the dress out of Pashmina because I had a wonderful opportunity to purchase a matching set of bed spreads directly from India.
There is 1 1/2 of the bed spreads in the skirt and half in the bodice. Trying to lay out the pattern on the paisley with almost no repeat was giving me a head ache. So I ended up cutting negatives of the pattern pieces out of paper and laying those on the fabric so I could make good decisions about how to use the design. I have had endless comments on how beautiful the dress is and almost as many about how well the design is cut.
I try to reuse as much as I can. For this dress the lace in the sleeves and the lace dicky are all made from lace place mats and the bodice is lined with scraps from another project. The Pashmina and purple silk piping are new materials. I did the tatted bows myself to match the ecru place mats.
This dress won best workmanship at the 2008 Great Dickens' Fair Costume Competition held by the GBACG.