I'm about to start work on an 1830's dress to submit for a DAR contest due in January 2015. It sounds super far away, but I want to focus on details for this. So here is my general plan.
1. Under things:
Chemise, made of linen. I'd like to go with one similar to this below. Another example of this is seen at Frolicking Frocks and it comes from the Workwomen's guide which you can read online on Google books! The book is from 1840 but I am aiming for a later 1830's dress so I'm okay with that.
Corset, or are they still called stays at this time? I still need to do more research on the style I want, but I do think I want it to be corded instead of bone if that will work for a later 1830's style. I also want to go all out on embroidery for it!
Petticoats: a corded one or a quilted one, plus 2 or three plain ones similar to the layers of skirts seen here. I would really love to do a quilted satin one, but that would be so much work and time and wouldn't be shown.
2. The Dress
Initially my first thought was to go with a day time dress made of something like cotton. I'm really leaning towards this because I love the late 1830's sleeves but... an evening dress just usually is more stunning.
This dress above is my all time favorite day time late 1830's dress, but I wonder if it's somewhat plain compared to what you could do with a ballgown. I've spent so much time looking at all sorts of 1830's dresses but I really just love this one so much.
If I do end up on this, I do want to do some kind of printed cotton. While I don't want to replicate this exactly I still want accuracy, so I am thinking of finding an 1840 print I like and trying to make it on Spoonflower.
Williamsburg also has these three absolutely beautiful fabrics, here, here, and here; but they're for the 18th century. They look sort of similar to 1830 cotton print designs perhaps, maybe??
3. Everything else
Shoes, hair, jewelry. I've pinned some things to my pinterest board for this project but I can't even begin to think much about what I'll do till I get further into this project.