Thursday, September 29, 2011

1812 Wardrobe Project

As you may have heard we are encouraging our attendees at the March 17 and 18 quilt show to dress in 1812 period fashions. 

As a prelude to the quilt show a few of us dressed up for New York State's Official War of 1812 Commemoration Day on September 24th at the Seaway Trail Headquarters in Sackets Harbor. 

The 1812 dressed re-enactors also helped to inaugurate our first-ever Great Lakes Seaway Trail Volkssport 5k and 10k walk events. 

President James Monroe was also on hand to lobby for his Monroe Doctrine! 
The gold and green ladies dresses were made from Simplicity pattern 4055 which was designed by Jennie Chancey.  The dresses were made of basic quilting cotton and were extremely comfortable.   

The pattern went together perfectly and each dress took about eight hours total sewing time. That time is including the stitching of all visable areas by hand and the creation of the chemisette undersleeves and cuffs.  All-in-all it was a fun diversion and a rather quick project by quilt-making standards.
The little girl's white dress was constructed using techniques from the classic heirloom sewing book "French Handsewing by Machine" by Martha Pullen (I adore that lady.)  It consists of cotton batiste with rows of twin needle pintucks and cotton lace insertion and was originally worn by the little girl's Aunt at her first communion.  I'd love to share more details on that dress if you're interested.

Everyone needs to dress up like this occassionally!  Hope to see many of you in costume too!  In the interim feel free to contact us with any questions or comments - we love to hear from you!


  1. love the dresses I'm making mine to

  2. What pattern are you using? If you can find it on sale at Joann Fabrics Simplicity 4055 is an excellent choice. Very period correct as it was designed by one of the best Regency costume designers around Jennie Chancey. What are you planning for fabric? Can't wait to see your dress!