Alyse’s Bloody Jack



Alyse Gurak Wolf

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

Jacky Faber, street urchin, ships boy, member of the dread brotherhood of the HMS Dolphin, and coincidentally, a girl, is the inspiration of my design, from "Bloody Jack". Life as a ship's boy in the early 1800s was not a glamorous job for a boy, and far more dangerous and less glamourous for a girl. After spending months and months bound into a ship's boy uniform, Jacky resolves herself to make a suitable dress, in case she gets put off due to "The Deception," she notices that her face and body is rounding out and it won't be long until someone else does. Taking inspiration from the dresses she sees on the women in the Caribbean where their crew often make port Jacky drafts her own very first dress.

This is a notion I identify with heavily as this is also my very first dress and entry into the historical costuming realm. I chose to make a Robe a la Creole as it would have been a popular fashion among the ladies during the place and time of Jacky's liberties throughout the Caribbean. I have always loved the Bloody Jack series and to be able to bring any small part of these books to life has been a great pleasure. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Outline the construction…

I began making my dress on December 13th after watching Cathy Hay's call to compete. I had already been immersed in the youtube historical costuming communities videos and was inspired to take the leap. As a beginner, I purchased 5 yards of a thin but ultimately cheap muslin for the construction of my gown and used fabric repurposed from an old project at my closing Girl Scout office (if you see any stains on the petticoat, the culprit was likely a 7-year-old girl, 20 years ago). I used Morgan Donner's Chemise a la Reine video for inspiration and drafted the pattern in a similar manner where the top ruffle is a part of the original cut and there are no shoulder straps to affix the arms to. The construction of the main dress is 3 twill tape channels, 1 underbust, 1 at the waist, and one around the neckline. This, as you can imagine, requires straight stitches for incredible lengths. The body was hemmed on all sides, with bias tape around the top ruffle, before being gathered with thin tape. The arms are of similar construction, with 2 channels, stitched and gathered, and hand-sewn into the armsycle. The petticoat is drafted using the methods from the American Duchess blog post about 18th-century petticoats. The front and back panels are knife-pleated away from the center and the two panels join using twill tape sewn into the waistband.




  1. Avatar Jo on March 11, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    That’s fantastic 🙂 Congratulations on your entry

  2. Avatar Alannah on March 11, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Its wonderful!

    • Avatar Kathryn Crye on March 21, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Jackie Faber is my favorite literary character. No one I know has read her books. My email address honors her export business! I was so thrilled to se you bring her early dress to life. Thank you!

  3. Avatar Margoton on March 11, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    That is absolutely wonderful! I can’t believe it’s your first dress!

  4. Avatar Theodore Allegrini on March 11, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    Looks Really Beautiful!

  5. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 11, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Very well done! You look straight out of a painting!

  6. Avatar Sarah L on March 11, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    I loved Bloody Jack!!! I commend you for bringing that dress to life

  7. Avatar Missy on March 11, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    Such a cool concept, and beautiful execution!

  8. Avatar Laurie on March 12, 2021 at 6:09 am

    Gorgeous! Very pretty photos!

  9. Avatar Elowen Blackthorn on March 12, 2021 at 7:42 am

    Very nicely done! Love the red sash with the rest of the look!

  10. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 7:55 am

    Very gorgeous dress, congratulations on this piece <3

  11. Avatar Ame Blue on March 12, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, I love the design of this!

  12. Avatar Esellie on March 12, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    What a gorgeous neckline!!!! And a more gorgeous smile!

  13. Avatar Niamh on March 12, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    This is fabulous, well done!

  14. Avatar Anne on March 12, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Oh, the gathers are deliciously amazing!! It looks so pretty, comfy and something I would totally wear as every day during the summer. Strong work!!

  15. Avatar Eugenia Snyder on March 12, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Just lovely!

  16. Avatar Laura on March 13, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Absolutely stunning work! I can’t believe this is in the beginner category, it looks just perfect!
    Your inspiration also sounds like a really cool book, I definitely have to look it up now!

  17. Avatar Terri Bowlby-Chiasson on March 13, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Well done! You must be so pleased! Good for you for taking part in the competition!

  18. Avatar Cassie Jackson on March 13, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    your work is so meticulous and neat and tidy. You did a really beautiful job on this, and it fits you well too. Beautiful work and it looks beautiful on you too!

  19. Avatar Jaclyn Spencer on March 14, 2021 at 12:43 am

    This is in my list of things to do this year, also inspired by Morgan Donner’s version! Lovely work!

  20. Avatar Valerie Meachum on March 15, 2021 at 12:43 am

    What a lovely chemise gown! Their simplicity is deceptive, and you navigated the pitfalls beautifully.

  21. Avatar Mónica on March 15, 2021 at 3:07 am

    The attention to detail is so evident in this dress. It’s such a beautiful dress!

  22. Avatar Melissa on March 15, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Such a beautiful gown you made! Also very neat on the inside. It suits you wonderfully. Well done!

  23. Avatar Xenofon on March 18, 2021 at 9:53 am

    This is so lovely and well-finished. Congratulations!

  24. Avatar Joshua Graham on March 18, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    it looks simply effortless – lovely

  25. Avatar Lisa Olsen on March 19, 2021 at 2:57 am

    So lovely, well done!

  26. Avatar Alora Fox on March 19, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    That’ so pretty! It makes me want to go to a garden party!

  27. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 20, 2021 at 3:31 am

    Oh wow, the complexity of this dress is amazing. Such a beautiful entry. Thank you!

  28. Avatar Laura Ingalls Gunn on March 21, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    What an absolutely stunning gown. You MUST take a bow!

  29. Avatar Carol Phillips on March 24, 2021 at 4:33 am

    Lovely! Everyone will want one but yours is the original. Excellent execution.

  30. Avatar Nina Martin on March 29, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    This is just lovely. (And huzzah for Bloody Jack fans!!)

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