Last Saturday I went to the Dickens Christmas Fair and wore my 1850s silk plaid dress. Here I am on the streets of “London” (photo by Laurie Tavan):
I made the dress last season (and you can read construction details here), but I had a few new accessories this time.
I made a new pair of silk taffeta undersleeves. They are so easy to make! Normally I machine sew as much as I can, but these are completely hand-sewn because I needed a small project for a sewing party. The overall steps were:
- Make a rectangle of fabric a little longer than your forearm and sew into a tube with French seams. (My tube was a little curved at each corner for a slight barrel shape).
- Make a cuff by sewing a tube of fabric, then folding it in half.
- Gather one end of fabric into the cuff and stitch. (Slip stitch on the inside to finish).
- Make a channel in the other end of the sleeves and place elastic into it to gather.
- Sew lace onto the cuffs.
I have small hands so I cheat on sleeves by making closed cuffs instead of buttoned cuffs. The elastic end goes around your upper arm above the elbow and should be tight enough for the sleeve to not fall down, but not so tight it is uncomfortable.
I made a simple belt using some moire ribbon, backed with satin ribbon, and a pearly slider buckle.
I dressed up a pair of vintage gloves with some new ribbon roses.These gloves are not new, but I decided to wear cotton gloves instead of the kid leather gloves I wore last year, because Dickens Fair is rather dusty, and these gloves are much easier to clean!