The Early 1840s Dress, Part 2

1840s dress

I have been feeling terrible because I got my wisdom teeth out, but as I’ve started to feel better I finished up this dress! I am actually pretty happy with how it turned out. This post will cover the sleeves, skirt, and apron.

After I finished the bodice, I began on the skirt. I started by measuring and marking out 2 inch pleats. I then pinned them and sewed them down.

003 (2)

Then, I sewed down the pleats to the bodice, and ironed the seams flat. I washed off the chalk marks with stain remover.

007 (2)

I also ironed the pleats further down the skirt. I put it on over the petticoats and bustle pad, and it looked like this!


The bottom was way too long, so I trimmed it and then hemmed it off.

Next, I drafted up a sleeve pattern and cut out the pieces. I did up the seams, and then sewed them to the bodice.


Next, I cut out a square two times the width of my arm, and gathered both ends down. I attached one to the sleeves I had already attached to the bodice, and the other end was gathered down onto a cuff, which closed with a hook and eye.


In the end, they looked like this!


I then made an apron with an old, embroidered fabric I found in my mother’s old fabric stash. It’s lined with a white cotton, and is a basic tie on apron. At first, I planned to make it a rectangle, but decided I liked it better being slightly smaller at the waist.


After that, the dress was done!


I have to wait till the swelling in my face goes down a little more to photograph the dress, but overall I’m pleased with it. I especially like the puff to the sleeves, and the way the skirt looks over all the petticoats, although I can’t imagine wearing this everyday!




2 thoughts on “The Early 1840s Dress, Part 2

  1. Inara, would this be a more informal, day dress? Also, I see the sleeves don’t cover the shoulders, was that common?

    1. Hi! This would be more of a day dress, although I went with a neckline that was more common in evening and formal dresses (but not unseen in day dresses, just as florals were not unseen in evening dresses). If the sleeves were shorter and the apron was not included, this could pass as an evening dress, as most had short sleeved in this period. The sleeves and armholes are about an inch below shoulder, which was common of the time and causes a slight restriction of movement.

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