Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Museum of the Confederacy Dress



In February I was contacted by a company about doing a dress comission for a display to be housed in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA. Even though the request was a little unusual, I was beyond excited! The museum is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time.
The above dress picture whas what I was given to reproduce.
Slightly modified fan front bodice with a waistband, v-neck, bishop sleeves, pleated trim, and a box pleated skirt. The material really didn't matter, as it wasn't going to be seen (I'll explain...) So we chose a wool for the right drape, and for the sturdiness so it would stand up well to the treatment.


The below pictures is the type of treatment the dress will recieve for display: covered with resin that is let to harden, then painted white. The dress will be on a mannequin representing a mother sending her son off to war.



The dress was mostly machine sewn, as the treatment would obsure any tiny details such as handsewing, and I also didn't take time to match up the plaid pattern, since it wasn't going to be seen. I have to say it was a little strange working on a dress that 'wasn't actually going to be seen', but covered over with resin and paint....



I really did enjoy the project, as I always love doing 1860s era dresses - especially ones with a specific inspiration picture. Hopefully I will get to see pictures of the display when it is finished!


UPDATE! 3/15/12
 Just got some pictures of the dress/figure in progress - being covered, painted and posed.
Pictures of the finished work to come...



UPDATE 3/19/12

Finished!



Also, a picture of the entire display! I love it.....


UPDATE 6/12:

Well, there has been a slight change discovered. This dress is not displayed at the museum in Richmond, VA as I had thought.


When my friend Rebecca and her family were traveling through Virginia on vacation in June, they did some searching and found the dress and its display at the Museum of the Confederacy at Appamatox!



You can see more pictures on the Museum's website here, and be sure to watch the informational video linked on the front page - the dress is featured twice!

25 comments:

Kristin said...

The dress is really gorgeous! :) I was like, what does she mean the fabric won't be seen? How is that possible?? Thanks for explaining. It's really cool that you got to be a part of this project!

~Kristin

Kristin said...

P.S. I'm in Virginia, and Richmond is only a few hours away. Maybe I'll get to see the exhibit sometime. :)

Nuranar said...

That is so neat! The museum people picked a good dress to copy, too. That trim especially will look really good when it's statue-fied. ;)

Samantha B. said...

this is REALLY lovely! i adore the neckline and trim!

Lilac Bud Gal said...

Beautiful dress! I think I would have been disappointed to have had to give it away! And to know it wouldn't be 'seen'.. that's kind of interesting, though. I'm sure it will look really neat!

Gabrielle Renee said...

That is so neat, Atlanta! I've been to that museum!

Abigail said...

It's beautiful! Too bad the fabric will be covered. I think my next day dress will be like that one.

Hana - Marmota said...

Very interesting! It must have been a strange comission, but what an experience!

Julia Brown said...

I really love the style and trim of this dress! I love the fabric, too- it's kind of a shame that it will be covered up! :-o
You did a nice job, and I want to see how it will look finished!
-Julia

Lindsey said...

Beautiful dress! I'm not sure how I feel about it being covered in resin - it seems like it would be a more interesting display in color... You do lovely work! How exciting to do a dress for a museum display!

Elizabeth K. said...

Good job, Atlanta! That's really interesting about how they make the statues! The dress is really well done, and that trim is going to look really nice once it's statue-fied. Are they going to send you pictures of it afterward?
Congratulations on the super interesting commission!

Miss Janessa Pogue said...

That is a really neat project! I hope you get to see it sometime! You did an excellent job on the reproduction!

Easnider said...

Love this dress and WOW! It really got weighed down! Congrats on getting such a neat commission!

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

What an awesome project! But I liked it much better on you! They don't seem to have put the dress over the proper underpinnings and so the dress is a little flat. It would have looked much nicer with better support underneath, but still, a feather in your cap to have done this for the museum!

Rebecca Jane said...

oh my goodness!! it looks AMAZING!! so excited for you! :D

Time Traveling in Costume said...

Next time we're out at the end of the coast, I'll make sure to stop by to see this in person. You did a wonderful job.
Val

cindy-the vintage hat shop said...

What an honor for you to be chosen for this project! Love both the before and after pictures. Can't wait to see what your next project will be.

Rebecca said...

What a opportunity to do something different and exciting!!

Lilac Bud Gal said...

And I wonder how many people actually know there's real clothes under that!! :) And that the dress was made by the amazing Miss Atlanta! ;)

Nicely done! It turned our really neat!!!!

Miss Janessa Pogue said...

That is so cool! It looks very lifelike! I am so glad you got to be a part of the project!

Rebecca May said...

Hi, I never commented on your blog before, but do lurk to read your posts, but I actually am going to school in Richmond and hope to get an internship at the Museum of the Confederacy for my senior capstone.

Your dress looks amazing, and the display also. I hope to see it up close and personal...and maybe take a look behind the scenes if I am really lucky. :)

Atlanta said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments! :)

Rebecca May - welcome out of lurkdom! lol. That is so awesome about your possibile internship! What a great oppurtunity! I would really really love to hear about it!

lahbluebonnet said...

I just stumbled upon your blog, live in Virginia and hope to see this display. How exciting to have been chosen for this project. The gown is lovely!
Laurie

Ashley A said...

That dress is so pretty! It pains me to see it get painted... eep!!!

On another note... I'm totally in love with your ruffle collar! I was planning on doing one like it on a sheer I'd been working on (but it's laying in a drawer incomplete at the moment until I get the inspiration to proceed with it further). I'm not sure where you got the directions for making it, but think you draft/modify a lot of your own patterns... Is there anyway you could do a mini tutorial on how to make a ruffle collar like that? Only if it's something that could benefit other people too, of course, and assuming you can share the method of doing such without infringing on any copyrights. :) Awesome job on the dress! And neat display... though it pangs me so much to see it!

Atlanta said...

Hi Ashley!

Thanks so much for the tutorial idea, I would love to do that. However, since the baby is due soon I probably won't get to that before then, so let me go ahead and give you a short description of the process.

It's really very simple: You can 1. cut a long strip of fabric on the straight grain and hem the sides, then pleat (i used box pleats) until it is the right length from your collar. or 2.cut a long strip of fabric on the bias and leave unhemmed. (this would work best on a fabric such as silk taffeta, nothing too loose woven)
Then tack your pleated trim by hand to the collar.

Hope this helps!!

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