Feb 2, 2015

The 1871 Dress

I've decided that before I make the Wishing Dress that I want to make a dress from the same era I'm basing the dress off of, the early 1870's. I'm doing this since I've never made a historical dress before, and while I'll learn a lot when I do the mock up, I want to be familiar with the techniques and other aspects of the dress. Also, I want to make it with directional fabric since the Wishing Dress has directional fabric and I don't have any experience with matching up patterns.

The pattern I chose is from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 2; the 1870-1 dress. I still need to get the patter enlarged, but I got impatient and started on the skirt. I measured it all out myself and have the muslin cut and the pieces pinned together.

I'm thinking I may change the neckline to this though. 1 because it's almost identical to the Wishing Dress, and 2 because I think I like this better than what the pattern has.

Dress ca. 1875

As for the fabric, I'm still figuring that out. I want to make the dress blue for some reason (perhaps because that's what the dress the pattern is based off of is) but I still don't know what type of material I want to use.

The pattern has 2 difference bodices, one for day wear and the other for the evening, so I'm going to need a fabric that would be suitable for an evening dress as well as a day dress.


  1. That's a great idea! Are you going to use a pattern? I have no idea as to the construction of something from this era. The skirts look so complicated compared to 1860's, which are just rectangles, LOL.

    1. Thanks! I have an 1880's dinner bodice pattern from Truly Victorian that I bought for the Wishing Dress which I'm planning on using for the bodice with some modifications. The skirt is actually pretty simple, just more like triangles than rectangles. Since it's only 1871 the style is still similar to that of the 1860's. The back has a bit of a train though, which I'm trying to decide how much I like it or not.