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Dressing the Colonial Family: Redo

My brother and sister-in-law decided that their trip to Williamsburg in the Spring of 2004 was so much fun that they would do it again in the Spring of 2006. My SIL recycled what she could and remade what she couldn't recycle. Through wise use of her time, she was able to spend much more time on her clothing and that of my brother. Here are the results of her efforts. She provided me with a little commentary in her emails and I have included that here.

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Emily's new cap and chemise are based on the patterns in Tidings. The bodice and skirt are from the previous frock. The tucks have been removed from the skirt and the sleeves were redone.

Message from Julie dated February 27, 2006:

"Isaac is wearing Mike's old shirt and his original breeches. The waistcoat is wool tweed lined with cotton broadcloth. I started with McCall's pattern 2639 for size and then tweaked it to look like the Tidings boy's waistcoat pg 133. I found woman's cotton trouser socks work well for young children."

"Mike is wearing his original breeches and waistcoat. His arms had grown several inches, so I remade his shirt using the same layout Karen used last time but lengthened as needed. I followed the Tiding's instructions for the men's shirt and referred to Karen's notes on the neck gussets and it went together easily. I was also making shirts for my husband and oldest son at the same time. By laying them out on the linen at the same time I was able to use nearly every square inch of fabric and used nearly a full yard less fabric than originally planned."

Julie's polonaise front
Julie's polonaise back

Message from Julie dated February 25, 2006:

"Period Impressions Polonaise with petticoat.
I put the petticoat together last night. Pinned the hem this morning and will work on that later this evening. Still need a quilted petticoat to disguise the pocket hoops....work on that next week."

The polonaise is made of red wool crepe that would not full enough to make it suitable for a cloak. The model is Betsy - Julie's Uniquely You dress dummy.

More Jim

Message from Julie dated March 14, 2006:

Jim's attire:

"Frock coat made from green wool, lined with cotton broadcloth, using JP Ryan pattern. Had trouble getting it to fit nice in the front near the shoulders....resolved that problem but now I don't like how it lays around the neck....better luck next time."

Julie's attire:

"This is from the 18th Century Jacket pattern by JP Ryan. It is navy wool, lined with navy cotton broadcloth. The eyelet hole were put in with my sewing machine and then I punched them out with a punch so it would be easier to lace. It is laced with linen lace dyed navy with Ritz dye. The stomacher is reversible. I made 2, one is tan cotton broadcloth (shown) reversed to a blue print. The other is navy wool, reversed to tan silk to match another petticoat. I added a small ruffle of navy wool at the arms. I found that when wearing this jacket it must be laced quite tight or the laces tends to ride up over the top of the stomacher."

Courtney front
Courtney back
Courtney's underpinnings front
Courtney's underpinnings back

Courtney's attire:

"The petticoat is from two years ago. I let out the growth pleats and it worked nicely. I remade the bodice using the Rocking Horse Farm pattern #102 as a starting point for size. I made the polonaise bodice without the skirting and make it open back rather than front. I used the frock back pattern piece as a guide to place button holes and adjust the pattern pieces. She is so tall and thin I went a little overboard in the length but wanted it to fit in several months. It is still a bit too long and even a bit big around....hard to judge when sewing almost 6 months before the event. I am not happy with it but don't have time to remake it so I'm going to add hook and eyes to the bottom of the bodice and petticoat top so it won't pull up and hopefully that will help it to look better."

Courtney's underpinnings:

"I made the stays from the corset generator http://costume.dm.net/custompat/index.html . It took a few minor adjustment to get it to fit on a child but quite easy for stays. I used some fabric given to me of unknown content not knowing if we'd be happy with the fit the first time. But it fit so nicely we will use it as is. I used cable ties for the boning, every other channel. Her shift was from last time made by her Aunt Karen. :)"

More Ben

"Ben's breeches, waistcoat and frockcoat were made from the Butterick Pattern 3072. The smallest size available is a 32 and he is barely a 29 so I had to narrow everything up a bit.

The Breeches were made from the same fabric used for Jim's breeches a sateen cotton bottomweight with 2% lycra. They have elastic at the back of waist and knees and all the button are ornamental. Not authentic but quick and easy for a growing boy.

The waistcoat was made from navy wool tweed given to me, lined with navy cotton broadcloth and inexpensive dark buttons (purchased by the gross)

The shirt is patterned from the Tidings book. Made of 5.3oz linen with shell buttons.
The frock coat was made two years ago from the same Butterick pattern. It is a bit small but will do one last time."

Some of the above text refered to the first clothing done for the first trip to Williamsburg in 2004. You can read more about that clothing by following these links for research and construction and you can see the final result here.



AND... just for fun... my brother on his 40th birthday.


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