July 7, 2014

Betsy Ross- American Revolution Dress



I have talked a bit on this blog about one of my jobs- that of being a princess.  Today I’m going to talk a bit about one of my other jobs (because I have three).  I work at a Unitarian Universalist Church doing Religious Education.   I could sit here and explain how a Wiccan works at a UU church and how it makes sense, but the blog is about my crafts- so moving right along!
This last Sunday the sermon was about the 4th of July.  I had to bring all the children up and touch on the 4th of July for 2-5 minutes.  I chose to read a book about Betsy Ross, because, let’s face it, she was AWESOME.  Not only was she an amazing seamstress, she also told George Washington what-was-what, and when her husband died in the war, she took up his cannon.
Um- pure awesomeness.

And because I am me, I joked to my boss what fun it would be to dress up as Betsy Ross.  She took me seriously and got really excited about it.  This of course sparked my inner, obsessive sewing bug.  I immediately set off for Goodwill because I didn’t want to spend a fortune on this dress.

$8 later I had all that I needed.  One white sheet, one red sheet, and one white curtain.  Everything else that I needed, ribbon, lace, buttons- I already had.

I do believe this is the cheapest costume I have EVER made.  *waves a flag of victory*

It also is a huge rip off.  *bows before American Duchess in apologetic manner*  American Duchess- I am in awe of you.  Imitation is the greatest form of flattery….right?

I went through many paintings trying to find inspiration.  These were a few of my favorites:



But I kept coming back to American Duchess’ Revolution Dress. 

 I mean- it was perfect.  I needed something that screamed 4th of July.  I was worried no one would know who I was!

So I made a dress leaning QUITE heavily on the American Duchess' dress.




 Silly face ;)
As it turned out- everyone loved the dress.  Most people guessed Betsy Ross before I even did my presentation.  And those who didn't guess Betsy guessed Martha Washington- I am 100% okay with that guess.

I even did my hair up in the necessary manner.  Of course, Betsy Ross was a Quaker, and thus probably constantly wore a white cap….but details…details!  I was a more…stylish Betsy!

Things I am happy with:
It fits perfectly.  My corset was laced tight, but not to the point where I was uncomfortable.  I love the way my fishu turned out, and I love the shape of the bodice (which is good because I had to redo the pattern four times!).

Things I am not so happy with:
I made my bum pad too big, so I 'fixed' it and made it WAY too small.  I had sad bum all day :(  

My petticoat kept slipping down.  I kept having to tuck it back into my bodice- not an easy task when that sucker is so tight.  Not sure how to fix this...hooks?
I decided to make the back of my dress polonaise…but I think it failed.  Mine just looked sad and floppy, not full.  This may have been partly because of my sad bum roll, but I don't think that is all of the problem :/

I started to make some mules to go with the dress...but ran out of time.  I'll have to finish them some other time :/



As always with historically based costumes, I am sure there are places I can get better.  Do you see something that is egregious?  Let me know :D  I’m always looking to improve. 
Thanks for reading!!

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