"Black Widow" 1812 Mourning Gown: Part 2

When I last left off on this project, I had shared the history of the mourning gown in the United States and western Europe as well as the concept idea of why I was making this gown. Here is the finished result, and for the record I am really loving the Autumn sunlight cause it really makes the dress bolder in the photos (especially with an old SD450 digital camera.) 


To make the gown, I used the 1809 dress pattern from Period Impressions. This is a really neat and easy to follow pattern (even better with the detachable sleeves offered). But because I misplaced the long sleeves I omitted using the puffy sleeves and went for a different style (my 18th century JPR sleeve pattern). It gave the outfit a different look altogether, which I favored.  

In addition to making some alterations, I also decided to simplify the decorations with just some braided trim. This would allow me to pair the dress up with other jackets or dusters with ease and not just make this gown strictly for mourning (it would make a beautiful ball gown).... although,  eventually I may add some more fancier trims. 

I believe the hardest part of making this gown was the bodice. What i was going for was the cinched front while the rest of the bodice was smoothed out. It looked great in the pinning phase (seen above) however as soon as I started sewing, it decided to do its own thing. 

Hand hemming the sleeves

The braided trim, though I'm thinking of possibly adding more to make it fancier

Black gown  paired with a "Waverly" duster


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