1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

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MaryGode
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1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby MaryGode » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:47 am

This is the dress I made for my twelve year old daughter for last month's Rural Heritage Day in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. The bodice is TV400, the 1871 Day Bodice, and the skirts are me wingin' it.

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She was handing in my pumpkin pie for the contest. (I didn't win, which is kind of embarrassing considering how much smack I'd been talking all week about it. My aunt placed second, and she doesn't even like pumpkin pie. :lol: )

Her dress is made from an unmarked bolt of pink mystery fabric (I figure cotton-poly by the burn test) and gray ribbon. The box pleated ribbon trim on the bodice and overskirt are finished with a narrow strip of bias in the same fabric as the dress:

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Her figure is only just starting to mature so I did a simple corset like one for young girls illustrated in the Harpers Bazar book. No busk, so it made up really quickly. She didn't want to wear a full bustle so I made a bustle pad from the Laughing Moon bustles and hoops pattern. I was surprised at how effective it is, and she really likes how comfortable and easy to wear it is. She wore a simple petticoat with an eyelet border that is just too cute, and she flat-out refused to wear open drawers. :lol:

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Her little pork pie hat was fun. It started life as a three dollar discount store paper straw sun hat. I tested to see if it would hold up to water and it did so I dyed it with wine colored Rit dye in a very dilute mix. I worked out the shape of the crown with paper and made a buckram form for the top and sides, covered that with the dyed paper straw and worked the brim by hand.

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We got snagged by a hobby photographer who wanted to try a photo technique that used multiple exposures that are then run with software to combine them. We had to stay really still while he took four, maybe five shots:

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That's my daughter Minna, our own Andrea L, me, and Stephanie, Ste Gen's tourism director whose dress is one I made as well. We joke about how grim we look, having had to stay so still and unsmiling. I wish you could see more of Stephanie, that dress is one of my favorites.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Miss Cindy
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Miss Cindy » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:36 pm

You did a grand job on you daughter's dress. She looks lovely!
Way cool picture by that photographer. Do you have info on your dress in here somewhere? And, yes, I wish I could see more of Stephanie's, too. :D It looks beautiful, too.
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17b
Andrea L
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Andrea L » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:53 pm

I have one picture of Stephanie's dress while she was taking pictures of Mary during her demo. Technology anachronism! :lol: This one shows the side and back better.

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And because I'm real mature...Mary in her undies in public! Gasp! She was doing a demo on how women dressed in 1874, so she changed from her black and gray driving dress to her brown dress.

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Speaking of gasping...that's just what the audience did when Mary tightened her corset laces!
ljt
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby ljt » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:06 pm

Love this, just took an order for a girl's dress from 1871 yesterday, just the style I was thinking of.
MaryGode
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby MaryGode » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:12 pm

Thank you Miss Cindy! Isn't she just the cutest thing? Whatever motherly organ houses my pride bursts regularly over my kids.

The photographer, Tim was his name, said it was a technique best suited for unmoving scenes, like buildings, but it was marginally successful with us.

I haven't posted about my dress here. I didn't keep a dress diary of it, and I wish I had.

The same photographer who took that first picture of my daughter also sent me this one of me standing:

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I found one Stephanie by herself:

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I modeled her dress off of this picture of a vintage doll I saw at the Heartland Agribition Center in Independence Iowa:

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Andrea, wasn't that collective gasp from the audience a hoot?! It's Minna's best, most favorite memory of the day.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever have a Good Idea™, don't ever speak it out loud. I said "wouldn't it be neat if we had a demonstration of how a lady dressed and what she wears under her frock?" and the next thing you know I'm on a stage in my frillies. The part of my idea I never was able to get across successfully was that *Stephanie* was supposed to do the demonstration!
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
rajani
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby rajani » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:41 pm

I totally love these pictures. It's cool to see what you all look like. Plus EVERYONE'S dress is gorgeous.

Don't worry about the non-smiling picture. They didn't do much smiling in photos back in the day, so you were right in character! :D
Miss Cindy
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Miss Cindy » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:55 am

Thank you Miss Mary for sharing the pictures and Miss Andrea, too! Those are fabulous! I was laughing while reading your post Miss Andrea. I can imagine it all in my head. :D
Those are some lovely gowns!
One other note, I must say, the lady in the blue dress, her foot position cracks me up. Looks like what I would be doing. :?
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17b
Andrea L
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Andrea L » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:48 pm

I wasn't even paying attention to how my legs were positioned! I guess it seemed more comfortable, or practical, since if I put my legs together too much my dress would be all over the ground. Or maybe I'm just used to sitting like that since I wear pants all the time. So very lady-like. :lol: Mary, didn't you say that women sat with their legs further apart so that their dress would fan out more and thus people would be able to appreciate it? Or something to that effect. So let's just pretend I was being more historically accurate and it wasn't an accident! :lol:
MaryGode
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby MaryGode » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:08 pm

Legs slightly apart to show skirts to their full glory is my understanding for the period. I can't put my finger on my source for that tho, I'm going to have to scour all my books now just be sure I'm not making stuff up.

Thanks all for your kind words! And ljt I hope you can post pictures of your commissioned work for the girl's dress you'll be doing. I found so little real-life reference to work with for my daughter's dress. I'd love to see more period girls clothes.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
ljt
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby ljt » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:15 pm

I found several examples at the Wisconsin State Historical website, alot of plaid so that is what I am going with. A tan background with red, blue and green stripes. The top and overskirt will be plaid with trim of either red or navy and the underskirt of navy with pleats and trim of plaid or red. Will post when able.
MaryGode
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby MaryGode » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Oh that sounds marvelous!

I just looked at that site in girls-1870 and have died squeeing over the pink(!) leather high button boots. 8)
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
ljt
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby ljt » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:45 pm

I added the two main insperation pics on my gallery page. (over there I am Loretta J Tejkl) I always have a hard time posting pics here.

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Last edited by Heather on Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: I made the pics into clickable thumbs, they were just too big
ljt
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby ljt » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:51 pm

Ok one of them worked ,sorry.
MaryGode
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby MaryGode » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:02 pm

You've got an extra set of IMG tags is all. When I pasted it in a reply and previewed it came up okay, but really huge.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Miss Cindy
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Miss Cindy » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:22 pm

Miss Andrea,
Please excuse my inability to connect the dots. Some days my blonde shows in everything I do. :lol: :wink:
I remembered seeing your dress in another post, but, but...you know how that goes.
All of the dresses are beautiful! I wish I could have been there with you.
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17b
Iris
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Iris » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:16 pm

Your daughter looks adorable! You and Andrea look perfect. Gorgeous dresses perfectly accessorized. Fantastic work.
Iris
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Iris » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:17 am

I was so inspired by the porkpie hat your made for Minna, when I saw a $4 cowboy hat at Family Dollar I bought it. Spent the entire Rachel Maddow Show unpicking threads at the wired brim, cutting off the crown about 1.5 inches from the hat band and reshaping the brim into an oval for 1890s. Figured I should start on my new dress and hat before the June 1 event, so I started with the hardest part first: hat.
Dying tips would be appreciated. What I bought is ultra white paper straw, and my dress is going to be blue leno and khaki pique. I think knocking down that dazzling white a few degrees would improve the overall look. I have some tan and some yellow Rit dyes. Maybe a very diluted tan?
Also: timing. As I chopped the top of the crown (we are going to have feathers :D ) there is some paper braid to experiment with. I'm guessing it takes seconds for paper?
Heat: I usually boil dye on the stove. Even the idea of doing that to paper scares me. What did you do?
Thanks!
Lynn
MaryGode
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby MaryGode » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:54 pm

Oo, this is exciting! You must post piccies.

My paper straw hat blanks are all natural colored so I start right in testing for the color I'm aiming for. Definitely try the tan diluted down quite a bit as a first step to soften the colors, or maybe add a drop of tan to a color mix to save a step.

I just use hot tap water for the dye bath. I used the color 'Wine' really Really diluted (think the color of a strong Shirley Temple) for the pink hat and I was lucky to hit it on the first try. I've been trying for a mauve-y violet for weeks now on another project and still I'm not satisfied. As in so many projects test, test, and test again.

The paper straw seems to be indifferent to moisture. I haven't let any soak overnight or anything, but I've done many trials that dip and dry, then dip and dry again, over and over with out any problems.

Good Luck!!

Edit to add: I use the liquid Rit dyes. Much easier to make up a small, dilute dye bath than with the powders.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Iris
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Iris » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:03 pm

Thank you, Mary!
I wrote to a friend who makes historic hats for a living. She said the white straws were painted (ick!) because real straw refuses to bleach to absolute white. But she encouraged me to just pick a color and go for it.
Tap water instead of boiling water. I can do that.
If you're looking for tiny amounts of powered dye, I like using the spoon straws Taco Bell uses for their Frutista Freezes. The spoon part holes about a sixteenth of a standard teaspoon measure, and of course you can go down from there. My technique has been try with as little dye as possible for as short a time as reasonable and see if the color's right. I usually inadvertantly hold my breath when I'm doing something that scares me, so you bet the first test is short!
Thanks, again. I plan to post pix when it's finished, ribbons, feathers and all.
Iris
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Re: 1870s Girl's Dress, and Others From Ste. Genevieve Missouri

Postby Iris » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:04 pm

'HOLDS' not "holes". Should proofread.

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