HSF Challenge #20: Outerwear, 1880s Dolman Part One

FINALLY!  After following the Historical Sew Fortnightly for 3/4 of a year I get to properly participate!  Until now, the challenges have run mostly counter to my historical sewing schedule.  It’s only taken 9 months for one to line up and this is it.  Three years ago I made this ensemble:

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Cottoning onto Fall?

I’ve decided to join my first Sewalong!  I’ve seen lots of them around the internets for years now and have always been sorry that it never worked out for me to participate.  Usually the theme was incompatible with what I had going on at the time, or I would find out too late.  But I think it just may work out for me to join in the fun of the Fall for Cotton vintage sewalong.


I’ve spent the past few days working out what I want to make, and after a few changes of mind I think I’ve decided.  This was a challenge for me because when the air starts changing around this time of year, and I start seeing leaves on the ground (first one was a couple days ago, not to mention the near-constant ‘thunks’ of acorns falling from the oak trees in front of our condo building) my thoughts turn to wool, not cotton.  For me, cotton is mostly for summer, maybe also spring.  In case I haven’t mentioned before, I live in Canada.  I don’t live in northern Canada, but I’m already seeing people in boots.  I will be one of them soon enough.  So – if this challenge had been Fall for Wool I can tell you I’d be more than set, I have tons of awesome-for-fall woollens in my stash.  Not so many cottons of that description.  And with the size of stash I have, I REALLY should not buy for this.

Perhaps I should also point out that when I approach sewing for fall, I go for autumn colours hard-core.  I LOVE fall colours, they’re so rich and go so well with my hair! ;o)  Burnt orange, eggplant, brown, maroon, olive green, teal, jewel tones in general.  I am willing to use, say, greys to pair with the richer colours, but not much else.  My cotton fabrics stash does not have many of these colours in it.  I did identify a few pieces with the right colours and after humming and hah-ing between them and vintage pattern possibilities I finally made a decision I’m really happy with.  I have one piece of cotton that is perfect for fall – this dark purple corduroy with an embroidered design in the other colours I love for this time of year:


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Belladone Take 1

So not everything turns out to be an unbridled success, right?  That’s kinda how I feel about my first Belladone dress that I made recently.  I was pretty excited to finally make it as I’d gotten the pattern during the winter while in the UK for my research abroad trip (shipping from France to England was a lot less than to Canada).  Don’t get me wrong, It is a totally cute pattern and I’m looking forward to making more and possibly playing around with it by adding, say, a full skirt to it.  I just need to do some tweaking in order to make it fit me better – proper tweaking to the pattern rather than my already mostly finished dress.  Now, this was expected and I consider(ed) it like a wearable muslin so that’s fine.  And since I won’t be able to try this pattern again for a while, I’m going to use this post as a way of recording my notes for future use.


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