Need New Costume

Get how to's and suggestions for making your dream gowns.
ideemom4
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Location: Denton, TX
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Need New Costume

Postby ideemom4 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:17 pm

Hi, I just joined the forums here so before I ask my questions maybe I should introduce myself a little. My family and I are slowly but surely getting sucked into the costume vortex :) We started by doing victorian gunfight shows with a friend of ours and now he's taking us back to the Civil War. I've made my first corset, which went supprisingly well, fit on the first attempt. :o Tomorrow I'm going to start making TV400 and TV305 to go with TV201. I may have lots of questions about TV400, it seems a little daunting to me.

But after all that, that's not why I'm posting tonight. My husband and boys just joined a Confederate Civil War artillery reenactment group, and while I have no desire to fire cannons, I need something period to wear in their camp.

I know what I need to wear won't be the most fun....no ball gowns that are so pretty, but.... I'm thinking something along the lines of a nurse, laundry woman, or maybe just a wife who decided to tag along.

Does anyone have any idea what I should make, what patterns to buy, etc. I'm thinking fabric should be easy, any cotton calico should be period for the south, but I'm at a loss for the more casual, comfortable clothing a lady would have worn in that time period.

Thanks for any help,
Idee
ljt
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:55 am
Location: middle of nowhere, Nebraska

Postby ljt » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:05 pm

hello and welcome. I too was dragged into civil war from victorian. I have welcomed it andhave some suggestions.
the skirt is very easy, you will need 3 to 4 widths of fabric to get about 120-130 of width, the length is your waist to floor plus 10 inches for the hem yes they did very wide hems, and at least 10 inches for over petticoat width and to sew at waist. To make it historical you do the hem first and then attach to the waist. Heathers 443 1861 bodice works well but I make a few modifications. First is to make it straight alaround just below waist and to add a facing inside at waist. Most civil war day dress were sewn as two pieces but the sew together at the waist to give the look of a one piece. The two patterns in my stash that I use alot are both Simplicity but I don't know if they are still for sale #7212 and 4552 I like 7212 because it also has an apron pattern. It really depends on what class uyou are playing. I play a seamstress so I have a little more money than would a cook or laundress. the petticoats are very easy I make them from bedskirts that i get at garage sales and thrift shops. You only need to cut of the ruffle on the bottom of the bedskirt and then cut it inhalf fold in half with the ruffle at bottom sew up sides put in a casing for a tie and u get two petticoats from one bedskirt. even if you buy the bedskirts at walmart full price you can still get two petticoats for about $16. I usually wear 3-4 of these if i don't wear my corded petti. I have yet to make a hoop skirt it is no my list and I even bought the hoop wire but have not made yet.
The colors are usually darker that what one thinks only young girls wore the light colors for day wear. remember to make some sleeves and collars from white they would have been changed daily to keep the dress clean. I could talk more just ask if any more questions
ideemom4
Window Shopper
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:51 pm
Location: Denton, TX
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Postby ideemom4 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:18 pm

Thanks so much for the great advice. I never would have thought of the bed skirt thing!!! Great!!

I'm thinking of going for a nurse, and doing a dark grey fabric (I am a Confederate). I was looking last night at Heather's 441 Garibaldi blouse, do you think the bodice would be more period? Also, would I need to wear a corset under the bodice? Ohh, so many questions? I saw the sleeves in some of my research last night...they'd be drawstring at the top and bottom? And my last question :D do the commercial patterns have a pattern for the collars or can I get one somewhere else?

Thanks so much for all your help,
Idee
ljt
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:55 am
Location: middle of nowhere, Nebraska

Postby ljt » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:35 pm

several of the web sites mention that nurses were to wear close fitting sleeves as not to get caught on things, also to not wear full skirts or hoops as to be able to get between the cots some of which were placed less than 2 feet apart. aprons were also to be white so they could be boiled to remove the stains(blood) between wearings.
the garibaldi blouse was just that a blouse and would have been worn under a jacket not really a bodice which was more close fitted. the commercial patterns I have have both sleeves and collars. the sleeves usually had buttoned cuffed bottoms but were drawstring on the top.
the two web sites I find most helpful are elizabethstewartclark.com and you will need to gogle this one fanny and vera it is the one about civil war reenactors both have great info I got the petticoat idea from fanny and vera.
mgbetz
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:18 pm
Location: los angeles

Postby mgbetz » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:49 pm

Highly recommend Elizabeth Stewart Clark's website and
http://www.agsas.org/howto/clothing/index.shtml, also authentic campaigner and western campaigner dot com websites.

The chemise and drawers patterns (free) from Mrs Clark's site work up fast, are authentic and also are easy to sew. Can also direct you to her free slat bonnet pattern, also.

Highly recommend TV 443 bodice, cut as an even waist, with gauged skirt.


When I first started CW reenacting, I wasted $$ and time on incorrect information :roll: buying from Sutlers and ended up redoing several items. Saving now for period correct boots, but have made my own slippers :)

Checking Ebay and museum sites for authentic antique clothing and studying prints and paintings helped me develop an eye for appropriate styles and colors of the mid 19th century.

If I can be of assistance, please contact me directly.

Gwen in l.a.
m. g. betz
www.winstontown.com
Gwen In L.A.
Lioness
Information Junkie
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:02 pm
Location: San Diego, California

Postby Lioness » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:13 am

Ooo. mgbetz! How did you make your own slippers? What pattern, if any, did you use? May we see a picture of them?
Lioness
Erin
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:54 am
Location: Tampa Bay area, FL

Postby Erin » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:28 am

I second the request for more info on the slippers!
:fence:

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