Past Patterns #801, fan front bodice, 1844 – 1850s. – The skirt is big and fun, made with nine yards of cloth.
Retro way back to 1840 – 1860! A while back I made these two historically accurate reproductions of Victorian dresses. I used Saundra Ros Altman’s Past Patterns #702 and #801. Past Patterns’ tagline is “The Historical Pattern Company Dedicated to Accuracy” and it is true – Past Patterns always has excellent patterns with very informative and detailed construction notes and historic notes. I did not encounter any fitting issues with these two. None of these photos show these dresses with the correct accessories, so I really should go out and take some new photos.
You can find more information about Past Patterns below:
Past Patterns #801 – fan front bodice, 1844 – 1850s. – According to Saundra Ros Altman’s Past Patterns, “This fan-front bodice and single skirt were fashionable between 1841 – 1847. It may also be worn as an 1850s gown because daguerreotypes abound of women wearing the fan-front bodice in the 1850s.”
Past Patterns #702 - 1850s – 1863 dart fitted bodice with full pagoda sleeves - According to Saundra Ros Altman’s Past Patterns, “…full pagoda sleeves [were] fashionable from the late 1850′s to 1863 …modified pagoda sleeves were popular from the late 1850′s though 1863.”
I have more sewing projects on my blog, WesternSpinster.
Past Patterns #801, fan front bodice, 1844 – 1850s. – Why did I have to hold my arms over the fan front? The fan front turned out well, but unfortunately you can’t see it in this photo. I know, I know, the hairstyle is not historically accurate 1844 – 1850s, and only vaguely late 1860s in silhouette.
Past Patterns #702, 1850s – 1863 dart fitted bodice with full pagoda sleeves – This bodice is nicely and accurately fitted, showing off a lovely hourglass figure, especially when viewed from behind, and it has the characteristic dropped shoulder seams.
If any of you have ever watched the “Anne of Green Gables” series, you probably fell in love with the costumes immediately! I know that was certainly the case in my own life, when watching the breathtaking film launched me into historical costuming many years ago.
So as a tribute to the movie that got me started in sewing costumes in the first place, I recently reproduced the pink traveling gown that Diana Barry wore as her “going away” dress after her wedding (in Anne of Avonlea). I tried to do everything as authentically as possible, and I used a variety of patterns to create this design. The fabric was a peachy-pink bengaline moire’. (“Moire” just means any fabric with an intentional watermark on it.)
- The bodice reminds me of a butterfly!
Over the last month or so I wrote about how I constructed the bodice, designed the sleeves, whipped up the skirt, and finally wore this costume for an all-out Edwardian photo shoot!
- Any accomplished lady in 1902 would have enjoyed playing the piano!
I absolutely loved sewing this gown, and incorporated lots of hand sewing with all the antique lace and button-up cuffs. I wore an embroidered petticoat for fullness in the skirt, and finished off the outfit with a pair of lace-up Victorian boots. I even found a gold and pearl necklace which is remarkably like the original necklace shown in the film.
- Trained skirts are so very elegant to wear!
I hope you enjoy the photos, and you can see more pictures of the finished gown here.
I wish I could dress like this every day...