Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Green Floral Dress

I first started making this dress for Reptar to wear to a picnic last June that ended up being cancelled due to rain.  I set it aside, unfinished, but brought it out again later that month for her to wear in the Victorian Fashion Show.  I was in such a hurry that day that I had no time to get pictures of her in it until after the show AND lunch, during which she repeatedly dropped strawberries in her lap and got the skirt nicely stained.  That was a bit of a bummer.  Oh well.  She was still cute.

That bib did nothing to protect her skirt, unfortunately.  Lesson learned - put a napkin in her lap!  Good thing the fashion show was already over.

Cute shot of her shoes under the table:

I added leather loops to the inside of the purchased shoes, and threaded ribbon through.  This helped keep the shoes on her feet, and was just adorable!

We were both in the fashion show, representing vastly different time periods!  She was 1810s while I was 1880s.  I kept saying it was like I had traveled back in time to meet my grandmother as a baby!

Even 200 years ago, putting shoes on a toddler was a struggle.  I'm sure.

Oh, and her stockings were purchased at Colonial Williamsburg.  I bought the smallest children's size I could find, and altered them to fit her.


At just a year old, she was not walking on her own quite yet.  But we got some decent shots of her toddling around with my help:

The silk ribbon for her sash and shoes is from Burnley & Trowbridge.

Thank you to Zöe for the pictures, and also for watching Reptar during my part of the fashion show!

I also took these photos after we got home, to show the construction of the dress:

I made it the same way as the Buttercup Dress, with drawstring neck and waist.  The skirt is narrower because I had less fabric to work with, but I made it longer and put growth tucks in.

I added some visual interest to the sleeves, though.  I liked the contrast of this bias tape I found in my stash:

It was pretty much a perfect match for the silk ribbon sash, but it was too narrow to use to bind the sleeves.  So I simply added it as flat piping, with another green bias tape as the sleeve band.

I quite like the finished look.

Happily, I was able to remove the strawberry juice from the skirt with a stain stick and machine washing, so the dress is no longer stained!  And she got a chance to wear it again in November, when she and I attended the Hamilton-Burr duel put on by the Virginia Beach History Museums at the Francis Land House.

But before she wore it again, I wanted to fix the neckline.  I wasn't happy with how the drawstring looked at the top of the sleeves - it was too modern, and also bulky.  So I removed the bias tape casing, unstitched the tops of the sleeves, and added shoulder straps made from the leftover fabric (there wasn't much).  I then reattached the casing, but this time added more of the dark green bias tape as flat piping at the neckline edge.

Since it was a bit chilly, I also added long sleeves - really just tubes of leftover fabric - to the sleeve bands.  They are just basted in so they can easily be removed if she gets a chance to wear the dress again in the summer.

I liked the way the neckline lay much better now.  Here are some photos of her wearing it at the duel:

The cap is an antique, which I got as a baby gift.  She's worn it several times now.

I couldn't find the sash on this occasion, and she had gone up a shoe size in the intervening months.  I didn't have time to put loops on the new shoes, though I did remove the original casing and drawstring and replace it with petersham ribbon binding.

She wore the dress again last Saturday, when we did a little photo shoot in Williamsburg in between a morning and an afternoon event.  This time I got the loops put in the shoes, and found the sash!  And I made a quick little half-circle cape with a hood for her, which is good because it was even more chilly than it had been in November - actually bordering on cold!

I'll post about my ensemble from that photo shoot soon.  In the meantime, there are more photos of her in this dress on my Facebook page, in the Regency Toddler and Mother-Daughter Regency albums.


  1. Fabulous pictures, I especially love the last two - adorable!

    1. Thanks! She's such a fun subject - though I usually end up with 20% or so of the photos being too blurry because she never stops moving!