To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Damask Rose 1863 Dress: Planning Stage 1

The other day while chatting with my fabulous friend Josie, she asked me what project I was going to start on when I was once again spry.  Ah, spry...what a wonderfully charming word!  Anyhoo, I had to ask her opinion.  You see I have a couple of projects in the "not done as of yet" category that I had been working on in the anticipation of attending Costume College.  They are still on my womannequins, in various stages of done-ness.  One is the 1880s Green/Teal and Black Military inspired bustle dress.  One is the 1863 Mourning dress.  That one is the most done.  I only need to tack on my fabulous lace collar that Josie found for me and make white under sleeves trimmed in black lace and that will be finished.  Then there is the 1815 half mourning petticoat and gown that I need to make.  That one is a no brainer...haven't even started that one, but it is on the "to do soon" list.  I described all these to her then informed her that I "need" to make a sheer summer 1863 dress for The Museum Comes To Life that will be take place the last Saturday in September.  She, as I knew she would, suggested that I make the 1863 sheer summer dress as I have a definite date for when this needs to be completed.  Smart girl that.  I grudgingly agreed. 

At first I had planned on making a white sheer dress.  I found a yardage of fabulous cotton sheeriness at a local thrift store and have been holding on to it for some time.  There is not a great quantity of sheer here in the valley and no cotton sheer, so I am being very stingy with my sheer.  Do I want to make a Chemise a la Reine?  Do I want to make an Edwardian Lawn dress?  Do I want to make an early bustle Tissot painting dress?  Do I want to make an 1860s summer sheer?  ACK!!!  The choices are driving me to insanity!!!  I also don't have enough to make the 1860 dress....grrrrrrrrrrr...... For now though I have decided to make my 1860 summer sheer out of semi-sheer pale pink.  I found this fabulous cotton at Walmart!  Yes, you read that right....And it was only $1.50 to boot!  You can't beat that with a stick!!!  I brought it home and dug around in my flower, lace, and ribbon boxes and found the perfect trims and bits to go along with it!!  Josie came to the rescue again and gave me the incredible antique ribbon for my bonnet.  I could not believe how perfectly it matched the fabric!!!  Laaaaaa!! Thank you my friend!! More chocolate is owed you I can tell!  

Close up of the fabric.  It is a really lovely window pane with what looks like swiss dot in between the graphs...

I had purchased these Victoria's Secret slippers to go with a different outfit last year, and once again they matched to freakish perfection!!

I have decided that for this dress I really am wanting a "V" neck collar.  It is going to be in late September and in Idaho it is still rather warmish.  This dress style to me just has the appearance of "cool".  And happiness of happiness I found several extant dresses from the early 1860s along with a couple of fashion plates.

This one is from Christie's

The collar treatment on this dress from Augusta Auctions is rather fetching! 

Another lovely cool looking example from the American Textile History Museum.

A lovely fashion plate from The Barrington House collection.  They don't give a magazine name, but say the year is 1863.

Ladies Godey's Magazine, July 1863!  The two ladies on the left have "V" neck dresses on....yeah!!!

The Truly Victorian 447 is what I am planning on altering to create the Damask Rose Dress!

So, when I once again can call myself spry, this is what I shall be tackling!!!

Cheers to all of you of great health!!  Do a somersault for me!!!


  1. I LOVE the lace and flowers with that material! It is going to look gorgeous! I hope you are feeling better soon!

  2. Thank you Val! I am feeling more human every day!!! I hope you have a fabulous time at Coco!! Please say "Hi" to my beautiful friend, Josie, for me!!!

  3. I believe the two ladies on the left have v-necked berthas/pelerines,collars/capelets over their regular necklined dresses.

    1. Thank you for the correction Paula!