|The donated dress.
|Dress pieces after stress-releasing deconstruction.
Step #2: Deconstruct pseudo-historical garment. Try not to get carried away with the rush of power you will receive from the first ripping sound. It is important to salvage as much fabric as possible, because piecing may be necessary during re-cutting. I recommend using a handy-dandy seam ripper or small needlework scissors to cut seam threads before the ripping begins.
|Pattern pieces drafted from an early 19th century child's dress are placed on the decontructed dress pieces.
Step #4: Find the best fit. If you enjoy puzzles, you’re gonna love this step. Lay out your pressed fabric pieces. Position the pattern pieces according to best fit on the available fabric. Depending on the size of your fabric and pattern pieces, it may be necessary to sew remnants together. (“Piecing” the pieces...capicé?) One interesting thing to remember about historical garments when cutting out the pattern is that economy was often the driving force behind pattern placement in past centuries.
|Close-up of front bodice piece where it was necessary to piece fabric remnants together
|The finished dress.
|My daughter wearing the dress with a reproduction spencer jacket.