Thursday, January 15, 2015

Finished 1837 Dress

A year after I started planning it, I finally finished the 1837 dress.

I started with the 1837 Day dress from Museum of Costume at Bath which is the book, "The Cut of Women's Clothes 1600-1930" by Norah Waugh. The dress pattern is shown at the bottom of the post. 
I changed the gathered bodice to pleating at the front and split the back pieces so I could have more shape in it, and put piping in. 
Unfortunately, it's hard to see these details in this fabric print.

The fabric is a reproduction fabric from Reproduction Fabrics  
I really wanted a dark blue silk ribbon or maybe velvet to go with the dress, but I ran out of time and this was the closest I could find. In real life, it didn't look so shiny.... 

I also changed the sleeves a bit and don't have the gathered section. I did keep the skirt style of pleats in the front and gathered in the back.  I didn't gather the sleeves, I used pleats because I love the crisp look of that a lot better. 


Fabric: Cotton reproduction print from Reproduction Fabrics

Pattern: Started with an original pattern from The Cut of Women's Clothes and tweaked to fit in details from the period that I preferred 

Year: 1837 because the pattern I started with was, but it could pass for any of the later 1830 years I think

Historical Accuracy: It was completely hand-sewn, and the fabric print is accurate along with the fabric type since cotton was frequently used for day dresses in this time

Time Spent: Including the planning and procrastinating, a year. Not including the time it took to size the pattern up and tweak it, the actual sewing only took about three or four days of working on it. 


  1. Charming! The fabric is lovely, as is the finished product. And you look radiant in it. I hope you were able to wear it out!


  2. Very pretty! I think the light blue ribbon belt looks just fine, a darker color may have contrasted too much with the light fabric (: