Mid-19th century doll dress

In case any of you were wondering, no, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of sewing the last couple months. πŸ˜‰ I took a break after my sister’s wedding and the break ended up being a little longer than I was intending. This was due to a lot of factors… my grandma came to stay at our house due to her declining health, and passed away in August; I’ve been working towards starting college and had things like my ACT to take and fun stuff like that; we went and visited family and friends in another state for a couple weeks…. lots of things like that. Busy busy.

However, now that Christmas is coming, with school closely following, I’ve decided to get back to work on my sewing. I wrote out a page and a half of doll dress ideas, mostly movie costume remakes. πŸ™‚ I also have some other large-scale projects coming up to get done before I start school in January, so I should be getting started on those soon too. Details yet to come.

Anyway, I thought I’d show you my most recent project. I started it a couple weeks ago, but ran out of thread and then life and busyness picked up and I didn’t get around to finishing it until this last week.

The style was based on an absolutely fantastic specimen I stumbled across on [the world’s most awesomest site] Pinterest.

I think this gown from 1844 is simply breathtaking. I would totally absolutely 100% wear this. πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, historical costuming costs money I’m saving up for college, so the next best solution is to make it in doll size. πŸ™‚

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, except that the bodice ended up a little shorter than I would have preferred, and the skirt is fuller than I expected– it seems to stick out more like a hoopskirt. I listed it as an 1850s dress instead of 1840s because I figured that was about right…? I could be wrong though… 😐

Anyway, this is now listed on my Etsy shop, which, by the way, I would like to change the name of, since I’m the only one who lists on there, and the products don’t really have to do with the Dashwood sisters at all, but I would have to set up a whole new shop and transfer everything, come up with a new name, and confuse my Facebook fans… πŸ˜‰ (and the rules about how many shops you can have are kind of confusing on Etsy, I’ve found). What do you think? Should I set up a new shop with a new name? Or is it fine as it is?

Well, that’s all for now. Hopefully you will be seeing more of me now, though, as I have more sewing projects to keep me busy now. πŸ™‚

P.S. Question for [present or former] college students who sew: How did/do you keep up your sewing while in school/college? Or can you at all? πŸ˜›


10 thoughts on “Mid-19th century doll dress

  1. Great job Melanie! I love both the original and yours. I hear ya too on the school thing. There is hardly any time! And most of it is spent on Pinterest. ;-P I think it depends how many other things you want to do as well. I still have 1 1/2 semesters before I graduate, but I'm starting to feel the lack of time already. I have twelve projects in my head right now. :-)Joanna

  2. I really like the doll dress; it's so pretty! πŸ™‚ Early/mid Victorian is one of my favorite costume eras. Full-time college & homework doesn't leave much free time, but it also just depends on the classes and professors. For math, science, or foreign language, the homework tends to be pretty intense. πŸ˜› There are exceptions, though…some professors give out little or no homework, and their tests are easy.

  3. I went to one of my American history professors and asked if I could work under him studying historical fashion of a specific time period, culminating into making a historic dress. He approved it and I got college credit for it as an independent study. πŸ˜‰ You could totally try that.

  4. Hi! I think I've commented on here before from my other blog. I was recently talking to my mom about the whole sewing/school thing, and she said that she was surprised at how much time she had to sew in college:) Also, your doll dress is beautiful!-Lauren

  5. Wonderful work Melanie! I loved the dress! It's very beautiful on Rebecca! I want to sew some doll dresses, but our machine is out of thread. I would keep the Etsy shop the way it is.~Island Dreamer~

  6. I love the dress! You do very well in your sewing! As for college, I am in the same boat {but I still have 2 years 'till college}. I take the SAT in January… 😦 I hope you do well, and find the time to keep on sewing!In Christ,{aka} MaryWillson πŸ™‚

  7. Your doll clothes are astonishing! It makes me want to sew for my Samantha doll again, and I am in my 30s! Maybe when I have a little girl…I have some regret about not sewing more in college. The only sewing projects I mustered were ones I took on during the summers, but I think it could have provided a creative outlet for me during the semesters if I'd only known how to say no to my friends more often! As it was, I took up knitting, which was more portable. I could knit in some classes and in my workstudy (writing center), and it helped me stay calm during especially stressful times such as mid-terms and finals.I think you have to be honest with yourself about your priorities. If sewing is as important to you as it appears to be, and you feel you will go mad without a needle in hand, you must make time for sewing! And if you can get credit for your efforts, all the better for you.

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