Monday, July 29, 2013

Civil War Swiss Waist at Martha's Chapel

Well it has been a crazy week! These past couple of weeks I have been helping with Latta's Miss Jane's Civil War Camps and then this weekend was a Civil War Living History weekend.  I have worn my corset for 7 days in a row for 8 hours each day!  I have truly felt what it was like for the women of this time to wear corsets during the 1860's.  The corset has actually began to reform my waist into the hour-glass shape. :P  It has been great fun though! :D

During the camps I wore one of Latta's dresses and fell in love with it! So I decided to make one similar to it.

This is the one that belongs to Latta. Abe is wearing his Confederate Jacket I made and his Civil War shirt I hand sewed for him.  He was helping with the boy's Civil War Soldier camp.

I made my dress for this weekend but the forecast was  for rain all day. So I put it on just to show Theresa. :D  Then I took it off and changed into one of Latta's dresses. :P 

Let's see, my mom hand embroidered the belt. For the Swiss waist belt, I took Latta's belt and traced it onto my fabric and added 1/2 inch seam allowances with a hook and eye closure in the back.

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, 
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace. 
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
Call for songs of loudest praise. 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
Sung by flaming tongues above; 
Praise His name, I'm fixed upon it, 
Name of God's redeeming love. 

 Hitherto, Thy love has blessed me, 

Thou hast drawn me to this place. 

And I know Thy hand will lead me, 

Safely home by Thy good grace. 
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
Wandering from the fold of God; 
He to rescue me from danger, 
Bought me with His precious blood. 

                                                         Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
Sung by flaming tongues above;  

O to grace, how great a debtor, 
Daily I'm constrained to be. 
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, 
Bind my wandering heart to Thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, 
Prone to leave the God I love; 
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
Seal it for Thy courts above. 

One of my favorite hymns! <3
 Come Thou Fount was written in 1757 by Robert Robinson.

You can just see my under petticoat peeping out. ;)

Haha, you can see my boots!

That was fun!  There were so many photos to choose from, it was hard to limit them. :P 



  1. Beautiful dress, Bascha! Is your swiss waist tight against you? I can't tell. xD

  2. Oh thank you Ruth! :) And no, the Swiss waist is snug but not too tight. I think it is so cool that you sell custom made clothing! May I ask, how did you get into reenacting and sewing and such? And do you just look at photos and make the garments without a pattern?


  3. I like your pictures :-) And your dress! Amazing.

  4. Woops! Didn't see any more comments till now! lol Well... I haven't actually made clothing for anyone other than myself yet... I draft my own pattern for myself, but for others I will have to get a fitted bodice pattern, and then based off of their measurements for that, I can create any style they want. Yes, I suppose I do pretty much look at pictures and then decide how they were made. The wonderful ladies on the Sewing Academy are a great help with that! lol xD

  5. Oh and one more thing, Bascha, I believe your waist should be snug against you. Waists were meant to give a slim waist effect really.

    Ooops! Forgot to tell you how I got into reenacting! Well... This may take a while, really! haha But anyhow, it started when I was twelve and I read a book called 'Gentle Annie'. Okay, I know, that book is TERRIBLY innacurate, doesn't even cover her life correctly, but that's what got me into it. I was really REALLY inspired by the way those men fought and those ladies helped. They were REALLY dedicated, unlike a lot of folks now. So I just started admiring the period, really. Then, my grandma used to reenact, she doesn't now cause most of her friends have either passed away, or stopped reenacting.

    Anyhow, my first dress was a 'calico type/ heavy cotton' 'zuave' outfit! YIKES! Terribly inaccurate, just like a lot of people I've heard about! I don't even have pictures of it! So, since I ended up getting rid of that one SO fast! lol, I call my blue one in the Children's section of my site, my 'first' dress! Anyhow, there's my history... hope you find it amusing at least! xD

  6. Ruth, it is awesome that you draft your own patterns! I am hoping, one day, I can look at a photo and know exactly what to do without a pattern...

    Is the swiss waist really supposed to be snug? Well that is no biggy, all I have to do is move my hook and eyes. :P

    I have never read 'Gentle Annie', but that is a cool way getting into reenacting!

    Haha, my first dress was a Renaissance peasant dress for a Ball, I don't think it was too inaccurate. My next dress on the other hand, had a zipper in the back! I made it when I went to Williamsburg and didn't even think that the zipper hadn't been invented yet. :P

    Very interesting story Ruth! Thanks for sharing!


  7. No problem.. Yes, I don't think Gentle Annie is widely known it's really one of those paperback type things xD