This year I will be attending the big 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg with our local historical society, and for such an occasion, I need some new pieces of clothing!

It looks okay, but not great.

The first piece I’m making is a new bodice for my grey “nun” dress. So, background on that is, that puppy was my first one. And though I’m proud of what I accomplished and learned through that process, the bodice is really kind of crappy. It’s unlined, as I wanted it to be a sheer, the edges are all widgey, I didn’t actually pattern out the sleeves, the closure doesn’t line up just right, etc. So, I thought it was time to retire that bad boy and crank out a newer, prettier bodice…hopefully in time for my Civil War Fashions lecture coming up!

As with most things I do, I needed to research. Sleeve styles are always a concern for me, and since I’m doing a similar thing to what women of the time did (as in, making new bodices for existing dresses to keep up with fashions, kind of a frugal way of getting new clothing) I wanted this bodice to be of a nice new style dating from late 1862-early 1863. This means we’re dealing with the emergence of the stand collar and sleeves are beginning to narrow a bit.

I landed on this beautiful piece:

1860’s Afternoon Dress, American
Metropolitan Museum of Art

As always, I seem to choose pictures from the Metropolitan. This one just so happened to be perfect. My fabric is of similar color (though it is a plain sheer cotton, not a lovely printed silk)

The piping, decorative tabs and buttons, are all covered in a lovely purply-mauvy silk, and paired with that grey. *swoon* I happened to find some from that will be nice off of ebay, and it came in yesterday!

The purple is little lighter than I would have liked, but it’ll work all the same

Now onto sewing!