First, I scaled the pattern up. By hand :) It was much easier than I expected. I had been having a bad night sewing, the bustle bodice I was working on was NOT working. So I decided to put it away and work on something easy. I was going to start my 1860s walking dress, since I already had a successful 1860s pattern, but instead took out Janet Arnold and started scaling up. I found it quite relaxing, actually :)
The fabric and the lining. I lined the bodice and sleeves in linen cotton blend that I had left over from a Folkwear walking skirt. It's a little hard to tell, but the dress fabric stops before it meets at the center front and the lining overlaps to form a nice, secure, opening. I sewed these togther, right sides together then turned it right side out. While this is a modern techique it seemed to fit and the only instructions given in the book were "edge stitch" so I figured this was a decent enough way to do it :)
OK, let's see if I can get through this without confusing myself and the rest of the world. I was really at a loss as to how to sew the bib to the skirt to the waistband and bind the edges and have the ties look nice when they passed the edge of the bib and became the binding for the top part of the skirt since there was no description of how it was done. My fabric (as visible in the close up of the gathering) frays easily, so unfinished edges were not an option. What I ended up doing was folding the waistband in half and sewing the bib to it at this center fold line, lining up the edge of the bib with the edge of the waistband. This was a 1" seam allowance. Then I sewed the waistband to the skirt using the normal 1/2" seam allowance. I pressed the skirt up, folded the bib and waistband down, turned it a 1/2" to the inside and stitched the waistband in place by hand. Once I got past the edge of the skirt I just folded the edges of the waistband in about a 1/2" and sewed them down to make the ties. Fortunately, I photographed the whole process :) I have no idea how accurate it is, but it works quite nicely.
The back skirt I pleated and gathered using the diagrams with the pattern.
Early pictures of the dress. Good views of how the bodice closes
under the bib.
Page One, The
Dress (with me!)
Page Two, The Dress
Page Three, Details