1860s Mushroom Girl



Kathleen Miln

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

This design grew unexpectedly out of a summer camp.

Because when a girl spends a week at a living history museum, she is going to need her own historical dress. And when one grows up in a creative family, things grow wildly.

A favourite camp dress, a love of history, historical fashion, nature, gardening, sewing, pockets, dress up, forest walks, tiny adventures and children's books, and one little mushroom girl has sprung up out of a handful of ideas and a lot of love.

Outline the construction…

The dress and petticoat are entirely hand sewn. I intended to machine sew, but then I got quite ill with covid and was stuck in bed for ten days, whereupon my sickness-fuzzed brain decided that I must hand sew the entirety of the project. Curled up in a welter of blankets, locked by myself in my room, and sleeping tangled up in fabric, thread and the occasional needle was not my plan, but it gave me plenty of time to focus - I would sew til I fell asleep with the needle in hand, wake up, and keep sewing.

The dress is modified from a Period Impressions pattern, and made from quilting cotton, of a design painstakingly chosen by my daughter. The bodice is flatlined with cotton from a bedsheet. The dress uses a combination of knife pleats, box pleats, cartridge pleats and gathers, which took me approximately forever to figure out (an extant garment featured on historicalsewing com saved my sanity). Pockets being a necessity, and Miss A requiring pockets "big enough to hold a duck", I added a 17th century-style pocket, with the opening of the pocket stitched to a slash in the skirt seam - tie on pocket shape, with sewn in pocket functionality. The petticoat is a cotton bedsheet in a self drafted pattern (and by pattern I mean a bunch of rectangles), and ties with a drawstring.




  1. Avatar Stella of Stellarland on April 30, 2023 at 11:20 am


  2. Avatar Christiane Christiane Edel on May 2, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    So lovely!

  3. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    So cute! I love mushrooms, myself! Well done!!

  4. Avatar Holly Holly Delaney on May 10, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    Love the mushroom hat!

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