A Daydress from about 1840

A c. 1840 daydress made of a semi-sheer printed cotton and lined with white southern belle cotton with both brown silk satin ribbon piping for contrast and self piping, worn Saturday at Costume Con 23 in Ogden, Utah. I'm wearing it over a shift, the Past Patterns 1840-1880 corset, corded petticoat, 2 flounced petticoats and a plain petticoat.

The pattern for the dress is taken from the lining of my late 1830s evening bodice. The lining is fitted with darts and the semi-sheer fabric is cut on the bias and pleated and draped over that. The sleeves are from the 1837-1841 Morning Dress in Patterns of Fashion 1. The skirt is three rectangles of fabric pleated in the front and gathered in the back. It's sewn to a waistband which is then basted inside the bodice. There are pocket slits on the side seams for access to a hanging pocket. The skirt is faced with about a 12 inch facing of southern belle cotton. The dress closes in back with hooks and eyes. The dress and all the underpinnings are entirely hand sewn.

The dress with the bonnet. The bonnet really shouldn't be falling off of the back of my head like that, but should rather frame the face. My hairpiece was a little too big for the bonnet to fit properly. The bonnet is the Miller's Millinery cottage bonnet. This style bonnet started appearing in fashion plates around 1840 and was quite common by 1841. This is about the time the sleeve style on the dress stopped being popular, so the bonnet is a little more up-to-date than the dress.

A close-up of the sleeve gathering, pleating and the brooch I wore with the dress.

Front and back views from when I had just finished the dress, without any of the accessories.

A side view of the same and a close-up of the sleeve gathering. I used 12 rows of gathering stitches and matched the gathers up, which gave it almost a pleated appearance. Most dresses from this time appear to have uneven gathering stitches in the sleeves so you can see where each row of stitches is, though I have seen examples of both ways.

A close-up of the front showing the large flat area above the pleats.

And everything that goes beneath :)

My Costumes
The Romantic Era

I'd like to go home!