The Completed 1840's Dress

Just after I got back from Costume College (and I mean literally just after I got back, as in the day after I got home) I started working on the petticoats for my 1840's dress. I don't even remember how exactly it started, but sometime during the trip Michaela and I were talking about 1830/40's fashions and how they are a bit... odd (mostly the 1830's). And at some point I decided to make an 1840's dress, which lead to lots of Pinterest research in between classes.



As you know if you read my post about Costume College, we went to the fabric district, which is where I found my fabrics. I ended up with the perfect brown plaid linen along with plain white cotton for the petticoats. I think I ended up spending under $50 for all the materials on this dress.



I decided to wear this dress for Halloween and go as Jane Eyre, since I've recently become obsessed with that story. The pattern I used was Laughing Moon #114, which I modified the shape of the front to be more of a sharp point. The dress was soooo easy to make and was quite simple. The bodice only has 3 pieces (plus sleeves) and is shaped with darts in the front, which made putting it together fairly quick. The skirt on the other hand is cartridge pleated, which is very time consuming (but looks so pretty in the end!). And even so, it didn't take all that long.


A few fun facts about this outfit:
  •  This dress used over 7 yards of fabric, and I used a total of 10 yards for all 3 petticoats. So that's a total of 17 yards of fabric I'm wearing.
  • I'm wearing a cap under my bonnet (I don't currently have pictures of it... Yet), which I sewed 100% by hand (which is something I've never done before).
  • I made the bonnet out of a regular straw had from a thrift store. I didn't have time to buy an accurate base for a bonnet and had to make due with this, but it turned out better than I originally thought it would.
  • This dress is so incredibly fun to twirl in :D

These are just a few shots I got before going to a costume party last week, but I'm already working on plans to do an official photoshoot in the next month or so. I also want to get pictures of the undergarments and may even make a couple video's related to this outfit.

The Shop Company Sewing Form Review

As I mentioned in my previous post, I just purchased a new sewing form. In exchange for a review on my blog and YouTube channel they gave me a discount on any of their forms. You can view my video review HERE.

I ended up choosing their Professional Female Dress Form with Collapsible Shoulders after reading several reviews of their forms. Priced at $269 (and free shipping!) it's a pretty good deal. The other sewing forms I had been looking at before finding The Shop Company were the kind's you see at Joann's priced between $100-$200 depending on where you bought them.


I've been searching for a good dress form for a while now since my old duct tape form was becoming less and less useful to me. But the more reviews I read about the adjustable sewing forms, the less I wanted to buy one. A lot of reviews for that type of form said they weren't very sturdy, you could hardly pin to it,  and adjusting the sizes didn't work... I knew that I would like a real, quality dress form but the only place I could find them was from Wolf, which start at $800.



After searching for quite some time I finally came across The Shop Company and immediately fell in love with their forms as well as their prices ;). Since I hadn't heard of the company before I did some research and read a lot of reviews. Every one of them had good things to say.








So one thing led to another and now I have a new, beautiful sewing form!

The Pros:

  • Affordable. Priced from $189-$300 for basic forms, they're a good deal.
  • Sturdy. This form is very sturdy and I've already put several dresses on it without any problems. The base of the frame is made from some heavy duty steel, so this thing isn't going anywhere!
  • Adjustable height. It has a foot pedal to easily adjust the height.
  • Has princess and side seams as well as metal armholes. This is really good for draping/drafting patterns.
  • Is a full figure. This means I'll be able to put my Victorian bustle on it without any problems!
  • Is pinable. The pins don't go straight in, but you can most definitely still pin to this.
  • Looks professional. Having this form not only makes me look but feel more professional.
The Cons:
  • The height's just a little too tall. Even with the height as low as it can go, it's still just a tiny bit too tall for me. It's really not a problem though and I am on the shorter side, so taller people shouldn't have a problem.
  • The wheels don't move too well on carpet. But this is to be expected.
  • Size. The size of my sewing form is on the small side, but I chose that (somewhat) on purpose. I have a small bust and so I chose the size that matched my bust, which means that the rest of the measurements are several inches smaller than my own. But this isn't entirely a bad thing because I can pad it and it also fits my corseted measurements.

A few other notes is that shipping was very fast. It took 2 days after I placed my order for it to ship and then only took a few days after that to be delivered. I also want to note that their customer service was absolutely amazing! They answered all of my questions quickly and were very helpful.

So if you're looking for a professional, affordable sewing form, I can definitely recommend The Shop Company!