My projects,  Sewing

I made an 1840s dress for the holidays

Recently I turned 40 years old. For quite some time, I had thought about making something special for myself for my birthday but when the time came, I really wanted something nice and cozy. Christmas is coming and I thought that a nice 1840s dress would suit my mood perfectly.

I bought the pattern McCall’s 7988 by Angela Clayton. It has short sleeves but I figured I could draft longer sleeves to make this dress work better for the winter.

I ordered 5 m of this fabric from Karnaluks, Estonia. This is a very nice quality cotton poplin that isn’t super wrinkly which I like a lot. Unfortunately, I was a bit careless and didn’t spot the little paw prints on the fabric! They were clearly visible on the website but I just didn’t look carefully enough! Luckily those aren’t really super visible, in fact, you have to look for them to spot them.

Here is my video on making this dress:

Here are some stills from the video. I still haven’t taken proper pictures. It seems that when I’m taking video, I always forget! I also made myself a Victorian day cap that I will talk more about later when I make a post about 1840s accessories.

I’m glad I added pockets to the skirt. They are well hidden among the folds of the skirt but they can fit all my necessary items if I don’t carry a purse.

Here is a back view of the dress:

Underneath, I’m wearing a chemise, a 1830s/1840s corset, a corded petticoat, and a linen petticoat. The petticoat is the same one I wear with my folk costumes. It’s not as pretty as those frillly cotton petticoats were during the 1840s but it works just fine and gives my skirt a nice amount of volume.

You can see that I have been practicing with my spinning wheel. I finally got it to cooperate and now I want to learn how to spin good yarn!

Thank you for reading and see you soon! Happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


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