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Tonight I began a couple projects that I had been meaning to do for a while.  Though they aren’t AS 50 projects they are important in that they will help me in a department I am lacking in; garb that fits.

The under-gown above was made by me several years ago to wear under a Persian coat.  Though the under gown mostly fits the coat I made it for is almost the same color and I want an under gown in a dark blue for it.  The only area that might be an issue size wise is the droop to the shoulders.  If so it will be an easy fix to narrow the center panel and sew the arms and side panels back on.  That may not be an issue if I wear it under a Viking apron dress.

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I purchased the apron dress from a merchant at Blackstone Raids in 2010.  What caught my eye was the length of the dress, full length even on me and I’m 5′ 10″.  Though general thought is that the apron dresses were mid-calf length I’ll not shorten this one just yet.  The fabric is a home spun look cotton material and slightly heavy.  It is too big through the chest and I’m not sure about the color.

I thought that I would begin modifying them both into a new outfit for myself.

The undressed will be easier of the two.  The sleeves will be shortened from their almost knee length which allowed them to be rucked up on the forearm. Also, the opening of the neckline almost extends to the navel, which was fashionable according to miniatures from medieval Persia, will need to be closed up.  The extra length across the shoulders will wait till the apron dress is altered to see if it really needs fixed.

The apron dress will be a bit more work seeing as it’s a completed garment with surged seams;
1. Shoulder straps.  Gotta go, too wide.  I’ll ponder replacements to see if I want to make cords or use the existing straps to make loops.
2. Take in excess width in chest.
3. Reshape under arm to allow more room.
4. Still not sure about the color.  Dye may be involved…

So I brought out my lovely assistant Gertrude (my dressmakers dummy) and got to work.  The sleeves to the under dress had been cut to the length I want and the neckline opening pinned where I want to start closing things up. I may just stitch it closed or cover the seam with embroidery.  On the apron dress the stitches of the bodice hem was taken out, and the underarm area cut down about two inches to give more room.  About an inch on each side was taken in and hand stitched in place.  The bodice area hem was refolded and pinned for sewing.

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What will take the most consideration will be the colors.  The under dress is a light purple and the apron dress is ecru/khaki/natural linen colored.  I’m pondering dyeing at least one, possibly both garments.
1. Dye the apron dress a darker purple or other dark color that would look nice with the purple color of the under dress.
2. Dye the under dress a dark brown  or other color that would look nice with the current color of the apron dress.
3. Dye the under dress dark brown and the apron dress green.

Since this isn’t for authenticity points there is the possibility of Rit, or other commercial dye, in my future.  I’ll do some research in dye colors and see what I come up with.

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Also, A Viking Pinafore mentions darts in a fragment that may be part of an apron dress.  This may help with fitting the apron dress a little better without taking out any more seams than necessary.

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