Abigail was first on the list for getting a new gown as she has the fewest, although Elisabethe did nicely offer to give Abby all of her old gowns and then she could have a new one instead. :-) I wanted to make the gown as a companion to mine but with somewhat smaller sleeves. It has the wide neckline typical of the period with some cotton lace basted in, I wanted to make a lace frill but the lace was too clunky to frill well so it's just basted in flat.
For this era the armscyes aren't dropped very much compared to the 1860's and the sleeves are set in without rotation, matching the sleeve seam to the side bodice seam. The waistline is still fairly high and the skirts are long, lower than mid-calf. The outer waistband is cut on the bias, whereas the inner waistband is cut on the straight grain to minimize stretching. The sleeves are gigot, although very tamed down and they too are cut on the bias. This is an exceptionally simple style to sew and I'm very pleased with how graceful and feminine it looks.
It's always a great event when someone gets a new gown, everyone admires the lucky recipient and then the discussions start on who will be the next one to receive a dress. They like to watch while I sew and note the progress, a sure incentive to make haste! I'm amused (I *am* easily amused I should note) that it never occurs to them that dresses can be purchased. Here it's a great flurry to choose fabric and trim, they are conversant on armscyes, the merits of silk or cotton ribbon, soutache braid, bias trim and the differences in sleeve styles. I think it's great but then I did confess, I'm easily amused. :-)