Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Dress Styled in 1850s Fashion

To obtain clothes was an even more difficult matter. Mothers of families sometimes said in despair that they supposed they would have to black their own backsides and go naked. They never quite came to that; but it was difficult to keep decently covered....
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson

Well, I can almost concur with that though blacking children's backsides had never occurred to me before reading this. :-) I began Tabitha's first dress on Friday and finished it over the week's end, she has had the fabric waiting for almost a year so it was about time. The print is an 1850s reproduction that is loud, she really loves bright prints though (more so than my other girls) and she's happy that it's finally made up.

The bodice has 3 diagonal tucks on each side that meet in a "V", smooth elbow length sleeves set in the armscye with very little ease, though this is offset by them being cut on the bias, ruching at the elbow and a full skirt supported by 4 petticoats.

This is Anna Emerson Bowditch, she was 10 years old in 1850. I love her bodice construction. The bodices for 1850s are cut longer than they are for Civil War era clothes, can have a "dip" at the center front and the sleeves are relatively tight.

Sleeve ruching detail.

I never actually finished Rebekah's 3rd dress before starting this one, so much for that resolution. :-/ I am furiously knitting something in my "spare" time that is very needed before the mild days of Autumn pass, I can't wait to show you!


  1. Lovely! You really do beautiful work. I can't wait to see what you're knitting. :)

  2. Oh I love the brown, teal, and red! Beautiful! Its so great that you sew your daughters beautiful dresses. I would love to do that for my daughters Lord willing someday! It must put big smiles on their faces. I know it does mine!

    In Christ,

  3. She looks lovely in her new dress! Beautiful work Mrs. G.

    In His love,


  4. That's an adorable dress on a charming young lady. I love seeing what you come up with!

  5. Gorgeous dress, and I LOVE that fabric. Your lovely daughter has good taste!

  6. Thanks for the kind words ladies.

    Rebecca, I too hope you get that privilege. :-)

  7. Love the dress and the inspirational images. The period hair on your daughter just makes it perfect. I bet she'd look cute with the little braided style too.

  8. Very, very pretty dress on a lovely girl! I like it very much :)