2022/23 Historical Sewing Plans

Since I didn’t do a plan at the beginning of the year, being in the throes of my final semester of grad school, I figured I could play catch up now! I am not sure how realistic I am being, as I still have to finish my thesis by the end of summer, and also find a job (which likely means moving AGAIN). I’ve decided to sort my sewing plans by season and order of any events I hope to attend.



I have to complete my bodiced petticoat ASAP for my thesis research, so that is first on the docket for this summer. My thesis research involves recreating an extant gown, but I don’t need to complete the sewing of the gown in order to complete the research, so I am not sure how far I will get with that.

Image from Augusta Auctions.

On the other hand, I registered again for my JASNA chapter’s summer retreat in August and I want to make some things for that. Mostly I plan on a new dress that is a lovely sheer white cotton-linen. It is loosely based on the extant dress above, because I happened to find a fabric which is about as similar as you’ll get from modern fabric, which you can see below. I’ll be using Black Snail #0119 as I made a mock-up of it last year.

Image from JoAnn Fabrics.



Screenshot from S&S (1995).

I didn’t set out to copy Emma Thompson’s redingote in the 1995 S&S adaptation (Kate Winslet has one in the same style but different colors), but when I re-watched it last year, I realized mine (see below) was quite close! The main difference is the color of the velveteen for the collar. I hadn’t picked closures, but now I want to try to make them like in the movie. I also really like the velveteen cuffs she has, but I don’t know if I have enough left for that. I had meant to use it for a matching hat or bonnet.

Photo by author.

It is a project which is already fairly far along. I spent a lot of last year figuring out the drape of the skirt and fixing the sleeve head gathers. Now I just need to cut and sew the real skirt and do the closures. I was going to keep my muslin mockup as the lining, but now I am thinking a more color-coordinated lining fabric would be nicer. I’ve been working on this since at least 2019 so I’d love to have it off my plate.


Bustle Eras

Last year my friend hosted a Bustle meetup at one of our local Victorian Stroll events, which happen around the beginning of December in celebration of the holiday season. I was not able to attend because of school, as usual, but also because I don’t have anything for the bustle eras (1869-1876, 1877-1882, 1883-1889). I do have a modern corset that I can use for now in place of a historical one, but the bustle itself needs building. Not sure if I’ll manage to make a whole outfit by December, but I can always fake something with a long skirt and a big shawl I think, as long as I have the bustle.


The real problem is choosing a pattern, so if anyone has advice, I’d love to hear it! Truly Victorian has three. I decided against the Black Snail one, which is more of a small, dense pillow. It is tempting, as it looks less expensive and time-intensive to make, but the reviews I read weren’t very favorable. I am guessing I would end up doing more of a third bustle era look, so TV163 would be the most appropriate. They also sell kits of pre-cut and tipped wire for 163 so that is another pro in favor of using that one.


Photo by author.

I loved getting to ice skate this winter in my Emmy Design repro 1890s sweater, as you can see in the photo above, however, I’d like to have my bottom half be dressed a bit more historically!

Photo by author.

I found this delicious rustic-textured, grey-mint wool with a faint plaid pattern in my stash in January and laid out the Folkwear Walking Skirt pattern (in the shorter “street” length) to make sure it would fit. Of course, the darker plaid spots are more rectangular in one direction, so it was very fiddly but I got it to work in the end. I then had to put the whole thing away because it was back to school for me! In order to get the right silhouette, though, this means I need to pull out my other Folkwear pattern and make drawers and a petticoat to go with it, and maybe do a hip pad as well.



Not urgent, but I would like to finish my Wearing History 1920’s bra mockup that I started before grad school!

Image from Wearing History.

I had hoped to sew this next project for the Downton Abbey movie premiere, but obviously I missed that deadline! I found this delightful (except for it is polyester) hammered satin at JoAnn fabrics and could not resist it.

Photo from JoAnn Fabrics.

I knew it was meant to be this 1920’s evening cape from Mrs. Depew. My only doubt about my fabric choice is that it might have too fluid a drape and need a slightly stiffer fabric for a lining. What do you think?

Image from Mrs. Depew.

3 thoughts on “2022/23 Historical Sewing Plans

  1. I love seeing your overview. I also want to make a bustle cage this year, and was eyeing that TV163. I hadn’t seen the kits— that’s great!

    And I love the 20s cape! It’s hard to tell from the photo how thick the fabric is, but I think it would probably work!

    Now I want to go make a list of all my projects… 🙂


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