This dress was inspired by a CDV in Who Wore What? by Juanita Leisch. I fell in love the the buttons, their placement, the belt, and the three-quarter sleeves with puffy undersleeves. My version is made of pale yellow wool from Fashion Fabrics Club. It's lined in plain white cotton. As usual, it's my standard 1860s bodice pattern that started as the 1870 pattern from Period Costume for Stage and Screen.
The box pleated trim is cut on the straight of grain. Instead of hemming it, I folded the edges toward the center and pressed them in place. When I sewed the pleats down, I made sure to catch the center edge, in essence, hemming it.
The belt is the wool hemmed around two pieces of cotton organdy. It hooks shut in the back. The center feature of the belt was made with a single strip of wool hemmed over organdy. I sewed it down at the middle and then a third of the way between each side. It's very much like cartridge pleating.
And that's sparkling water in my glass. We had a lovely picnic with period-ish foods :)
I wore the dress over a chemise, corset, Needle and Thread cage crinoline, and petticoat. I borrowed the bonnet from Sarah (I wore it with my black spoon bonnet before, giving it a sort of bumble bee look), and my shoes are Robert Land's walking shoes.
The buttons were very simple to make. They're made of circles of wool, wooden discs, and black lace. First, I cut a circle of wool and gathered the edge. Then I put the disc inside and sewed it shut. Then I gathered the lace and sewed it to the back, and ta da! finished buttons!
Sadly, this dress has been somebody's lunch, and even more sadly, I ran into something very messy the last time I wore this dress and it has huge black marks all over the front. I did wear it four times though, which is more than I usually wear things. I remain optimistic though, and I think there's hope for it yet :)