Sunday, March 11, 2012

Conference Dress Construction

When you are a presenter at the Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference, Carolann Schmitt sends you a length of fabric to mae a dress. Everyone gets the same fabric but can make it up anyway they wish. To see all the garments from this year, see

Usually the fabric is a cotton; however, this year's fabric was an Italian Merino wool.

Here is my inspiration dress.

The first thing I did was make the tie, since it was fairly easy.

Finding the false buttons was not possible so I had to make them. Nancy and I found some upholestry trim with the perfect tassles. I then dyed hoodie tie string and crochet thread to match the tassles. I crocheted around small rings to create the medallions to which the tassles are attached.

I didn't use a pattern per se, just a basic bodice that had from the last few dresses I made. I lined the bodice with brown polished cotton.

I made hook and eye tape using the fashion fabic. I used the instructions included with Past Patterns 812.

I didn't include piping in the armsyce as the inspiration dress didn't appear to have any.

However, I did pipe the neck line.

The wrist trim and collar was antique lace I had bought for another project that I decided not to persue.

The skirt was attached with a dog leg. Nothing different there. I had Three Sisters Millinery make a head covering for me to match that in the inspiration photo. And here is the finished product.

See more production pictures at


Anonymous said...

Who is the woman in the picture?

Annette Bethke said...

No idea.