1845 Silk Day Dress

1845 Silk Day Dress

IM so happy to present to you another one of my living portraits.

This is a perfect (I think so) copy of the dress featured on page 210-11 of Fashion:  A History from the 18th to 20th Century.

Often I am called upon to make small sacrifices due to budget or the realities of the modern figure, but the woman I made this for was so petite and the dress required such simple materials to begin with, that I was able to please myself and my client from begining to end.   I even did my very best to count the number of pleats in the smocked front.   They are graduated from top to bottom.  It took me a few tries to reverse engineer the pattern.  Other fascinating details include the bias piping on the double scalloped sleeve flounces.  I think they may have taken me longer than the hand cartridge pleats in the skirt.  Top of the skirt measured about 144 inches. Gauging done at about 3/16 inch. So there must be about 768 pleats around the top of the skirt. That only took half a day.

It has hooks and eyes up the back and is made from shot silk taffeta in light blue & gold rather than royal blue & pink to match the wearer's color preference.  She provided a antique lace collar that had already been remade once so I didn't feel bad altering it to fit the dress.  She also had a lovely blue cameo and pocket watch that matched so well I couldn't have designed it better.


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