Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1900-1905 Afternoon Tea Gown

Since Ardenwood opened for the 2013 season I have not been able to participate in the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenges.  But the future looks promising for some sewing time so I am just in time for :
Somewhere in Time

"In the spirit of historical re-use, of taking old things and giving them new life, and new purpose, the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #18 is Re-make, Re-use & Re-fashion. Sew something that pays homage to the historical idea of re-using, re-making and re-fashioning. Turn one thing into another. Re-fit or re-fashion an old gown into something you would wear again. Re-trim a hat for a new outfit, or re-shape a modern hat to be a historical hat. Re-purpose the fabric from an old garment (your own or a commercial one) into a new garment.

It just so happens I had worked on this outfit a long time ago but didn't quite finish it.  During that time it shrunk, or I possibly got larger (more likely the case) and so now it doesn't fit me.  So I am going to rework it and then even harder try to get up the courage to actually wear it at Ardenwood.  

The reason I didn't finish it in the first place was because I knew I didn't have the courage to wear it then.  It is in all white and has a train........can you imagine!  With the skirts I have worn up to this date with the back slightly longer than floor length, it never fails, someone steps on my skirt.  It goes to show you that now days we really get into each other's space.  A hundred years ago everyone just knew you can't be right smack behind the person in front, women would be falling backwards, skirts would be pulled down, all sorts of tragic things would happen.

So.....maybe the next flow-through tours I will be brave enough and wear this dress.  On flow-through each docent just stays in one room.  That way I wouldn't have anyone "following" me.

I am going to have to figure out how to deal with the issue of walking to and from the house without getting it dirty and still be modest and graceful.  


  1. Beautiful! Is that the one you made last winter? I wonder if I could fit in it?

    How did the women managed to walk around town without getting their dresses all dirty? - especially when they didn't have cement sidewalks to walk on.

  2. I made this one years ago.....actually 4 waist inches ago :-(

    You could fit in the blouse that goes with this one, the blouse shown is a different blouse. The skirt has been let out but all the darts at the waist need to be redone to fit snugly.

    This is an afternoon tea dress so I don't think they wore them outside, if they could help it. I wonder how they would get all the dirt and grass stains out. Needless to say, this fashion didn't seem to last long.