Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hand sewn, Pink Taffeta Plaid and Chocolate Brown Wool Polonaise

Life has just been so busy for me these past days, I haven't had time to post it till now. :P  Here (finally) is my Revolutionary War Polonaise dress that I made for the Rev War weekend at Latta in September!   I have always wanted a polonaise, so when I finally made one I was overjoyed when I finished sewing it. <3

 The chocolate brown wool I first bought around two years ago for Regency trousers for Abe. After I found the 2 1/2 yards of pink plaid taffeta at Hancocks I decided I would like to use the wool for my polonaise. :D  I used J.P. Ryans polonaise pattern and this was the first time I truly custom fitted a pattern. I absolutely love to fit patterns now!!!  I had so much fun with it and it was so easy!

Oh by the way, I hand sewed the entire dress and petticoat!!

Here is my mock-up:

Of course I had to shorten it, my waist is quite short. :P

I also had to take up some material on the side and the center back

And the shoulder straps

This is the material I used for my front, back and shoulder strap lining. For the sleeve lining I used muslin. The dress is from none other than VV!  I love the embroidery on the neck!

Pleating the polonaise skirt

The bottom point was a little odd but I think it still came out pretty good.

 The skirt attached, side.  I have a dart in the sleeve at the elbow.

Back before boning inserted

Attaching the lining. I did it the historical way, sewing the lining directly on top.

Now I had to sew the center back together to start the casing for the boning in the back.

I inserted the boning ( 1/4'' reed) and pined the material together then sewed close to the reed.

Sewing the boning in the center front.

I tried to make my own ruching from my pink taffeta and tried to hem both sides of my material. I will just say it didn't work to well. :P I ended up using pink ribbon from Hancocks. A nice old lady at Latta suggested  to cut it out on the bias. :D Next time I will definitely try to cut it on the bias!

I pleated my ribbon ruching as such: 1/4'' knife pleat to the right,

1/4'' knife pleat to the left to complete an inverted box pleat,

1/4'' knife pleat to the left,

1/4'' knife pleat to the right to complete a box pleat.

Then sewed the ruching down in the middle

I attached the ruching to the sleeves and center front. :) I really like ruching.

Me sewing my dress! I did not leave that chair very much. :P
And don't worry I am half way through!

The lovely hooks!

Now when I sew my hooks and eyes I sew it down in multiple places. So I thought I would show you all how I sew my hooks and eyes down, I have my needle pointing to each place:

Sewing them down in these key places helps to cement the hooks and eyes down.

There was a little bit of space showing in my center front so I sewed this rectangle together for a little flap on the back side.

Like so.

Preparing for the hem, I laid the dress down and then stretched the skirt out and took off as much as I needed. 

My brass buttons on the back to hold the skirt up.

Sewing the ribbon down in the same place as the buttons on the back side.

Oh lol I made this bum roll quite awhile ago, and I wore it under my polonaise.

My baby, Maple for some reason really likes it...... :P

This is a thin linen shirt I used for my petticoat waistband. Of course from VV. :)


They were each 3/4 of inch wide by half my waist size.

This Measuring Gauge is my best friend in sewing. I use it quite a bit, especially when I am ironing hems down. If you are new to sewing I would suggest you get one of these!!

I really love this petticoat. The linen waistband is the perfect touch for it.

FINISHED!! 12:44:39 a.m.  I was going to wear it the next day. 
I always seem to finish garments the night before or the day of. : /  

Theresa and me <3

These were the only two photos we took that weekend. lol

My brother and I have a weekly class in this beautiful old neighborhood so we decided to take the rest of my photos in that neighborhood. It was so pretty with the leaves changing colors and falling ever so softly to the ground.  :)

Fall and Spring are my favorite seasons! 

The owner of this house was so nice! She came out as we were getting some photos and said we could use her porch and chairs for photos!!  She said she has had a lot of people come to this neighborhood to get wedding photos, she also thought Abe and I were getting married.............. Anyways I am very grateful to her for allowing us to use her house and yard. :D
Here you can see my polonaise (skirt lift in the back).

I love the pillars.

My loving brother Abe wearing his birthday present, a kilt. :)

The brooch I bought at an antique store located down the road from there.

I now have my favorite dress on the blog!!!   I had a great time taking these photos with my brother and my mom, love you guys.  

Well till next time my good friends! Enjoy the rest of Fall!!



  1. Oh it's beautiful, Bascha! I LOVE IT! (giggle) You and Abe! OMG! that is too funny! LOL People have asked me if my bro is my bf before so don't worry! LOL I guess it's kinda what people think when they see a boy and girl doing things together! LOL

    Love ya'!

    1. Thank you Ruth!! lol many people mistaken Abe's age and mine as well for that matter! ;)
      Love you too :P

  2. How lovely! I really like that color combination. And as usual, I'm mad jealous of your draping skillz. You live in such a gorgeous, picturesque area, too!

    1. I wish I lived in that neighborhood! I love North Carolina, it is so beautiful. You should really come down and visit us some time!! :D
      Btw, when are you graduating, this spring?


    2. Early summer, yup. /sigh/ All I can say to the younger sewers is to enjoy their brief time in high school!

    3. Haha yes they should. Time really flies by fast!

      I will be graduating this Summer too!! I love your ball idea for your graduation. I think I might want to host a ball for mine as well. :D:D Combine graduations? ;)


  3. Well done! A quick tip for ruching strips, rather than hemming them - if they are bias strips, leave them unfinished, otherwise pink them for a frilly, froofy period-correct finish!


    1. Thank you Betsy. Thank for the advice, I love the pinking idea that would have been really cute!! :D