Beginning Preparations for Gettysburg

I’m just starting to get my projects together for the Gettysburg trip in November. I already have a day dress, bonnet, and sontag, so the day outfit is set, but nothing for evening wear. Enter a partially finished dress that Sarah was kind enough to gift me a few years ago. She had fallen out of love with the fabric, but I like it as it is outside of what I normally wear.

Sarah had finished most of the bodice and assembled the skirt panels. But let’s face it, I’m bigger than Sarah in the waist, so I need to let the bodice out. Happily, there is a bunch of leftover fabric, so I can replace the side panels with wider ones.

Here is the bodice, you can see the left side done by Sarah, and where I have begun removing the panels on the right side.
Civil War Ball Gown

Using Sarah’s original pieces as a guide, I then made wider panels out of muslin and basted them back into the bodice to test fit. Now I need to do some more fitting, as I am not sure whether I overshot adding in width. But that requires going and putting on my corset and fumbling with a back closure…so I’ll tackle it later. And then, of course, on to the final version in the fashion fabric.
Civil War Ball Gown


4 thoughts on “Beginning Preparations for Gettysburg

  1. Don’t you just wish that you could fit a bodice that goes over a corset without having to put the corset on for the fitting??? I had a similar feeling about various things (all from different periods) I was working on today that required corsets. I got through 2 out of 3. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress on this and your trip sounds like fun!


    • Agreed! This is also why I hate making things that close in the back, because then you still have to struggle with that after getting your corset on! Sigh.

      • Have you tried Jenny’s zipper trick? It has worked wonders for me with back closing fittings. I just hand baste a zipper in and have a long piece of yarn tied to the pull so I can close it by myself. It’s amazing!!! So much better than fussing with pins when you can’t even reach your back.

      • I haven’t, thanks for reminding me! Although in this case, where I’m frankenstining together the final fashion fabric back with the mock up side panels, I may just have to suck it up and deal. Next time, though!

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