Saturday, June 25, 2016

Historic Mansker's Station & Circa 1796-1806 Lewis & Clark Era Front Closing Gown

The second week of April was an event at Historic Mankser's Station in Nashville, where my mother-in-law is a weaver sometimes. So clearly, I needed an outfit for the event. It just so happened that I had been sitting on a piece of fabric that my best friend gave me for my birthday a few years back and I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Enter Past Patterns #031. I loved the way the dress looked, and once I made it, I loved the way it fit. I had to make no adjustments at all to the bodice (!!). I hand sewed the entire thing in just 7 days! The fabric is a 100% cotton print from the Old Sturbridge Village collection by Marcus Fabrics and lined with muslin. It is sewn with 35/2 unbleached linen. The handkerchief is also muslin.

The only thing remotely tricky about this dress is the sleeves. You can see how they come to a point over the shoulder blade. As a result, it's a bit tricky. But hand sewing is by far easier to manipulate funky corners like that. And this wasn't really tricky, but somehow my shoulder straps didn't line up right in the fashion fabric and were too wide, so I turned under the extra and voila, it worked. I would definitely use this pattern again!

The event was two days long and bitterly cold (50 degrees but a constant biting wind), which was totally unexpected (I was assured I would be roasting to death!) Hence the polar fleece cloak from my childhood - it USED to be a floor length cloak! :)

Thusly I took about 1 hour when I got home and a few hours in the morning in the car and at the beginning of my day there to whip up the wool mitts made from the Kannik's Korner pattern. They went together so easily and were very warm. I am thankful my mother-in-law had the wool laying around!

A recreation of Mankser's Station

The drawstring front led to some minor gaping, but that's totally normal
Note the narrow diamond shaped back - talk about creative shaping!

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