So, I am making the first dress for Jane – the black woolen one with an embroidered collar.
Here is another dress that Jane wore in the film. It is identical to the black one, but one can see the details better, so here it is, too (for reference).
I bought black woolen fabric (it was called Wool Blend Slub Poplin, 85% Wool/15% Polyester). I wish it was 100% wool, but I am grateful that it is fairly lightweight!
I started sewing the dress by making up the skirt first. It is, of course, 100% hand-stitched.
Skirts of the period in question (1830s) were all lined with unbleached cotton, linen or some other fabric.
I cut out a piece of the main fabric measuring 90 cm x 45 cm and a piece of the lining (medium weight unbleached muslin) with the same measurements. First, I stitched the back seams together, leaving space for the skirt opening. Then I put the two parts (main skirt and lining) wrong sides together and stitched them together at the hem line.
And along the back opening.
Then I stitched them together at the top. In principle, it needed to be tucked in (similar to the hem line), but I didn’t want any extra bulk at the waist, so I chose not to do it that way.
Then I took a strip of the fabric (cut on bias, although I now think it would have been easier to do it on the straight grain), marked the waist circumference (about 21 cm) and carefully stitched pleats onto it. I must say, it took me three attempts to do the pleats I am pleased with! This is the final one. There are three pleats on top of each other next to the back opening – to hide it from view when the dress is worn.
Again, the belt shouldn’t have gone over the pleats, but I decided to do it anyway, because this fabric frays a lot .
And here is the skirt on Jane.