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Provenance: 

The original pattern, full size, was published in February 1863 in “Der Bazar” (Berlin, Germany) as well as “La Mode Illustree” (Paris, France).

The gown was described as being similar in cut to medieval French gowns.  The bodice, which has a dropped waist with the center front and back sections being cut in one with the skirt, is trimmed with tabs made from material in stark contrast to the robe’s.  The tabs themselves are trimmed with soutache edging and fringe.  The trim of the skirt, which has a slight train, is narrow fancy soutache which covers the seams.  The center back seam has a double row of this trim all the way up to the neck.  Other bodice seams in the front and back are trimmed with a single row (not the ones under the arm, though). The gown is further trimmed with a row of buttons in the front, each of which is set on fringe.  The trim tabs are to be made from velvet or a heavy silk.

 

Changes:

The original pattern had the CF line on the bias in the fashion fabric only, which requires OOODLES of fabric.  The original pattern also had the front side seams in a slightly different spot, as well as a dart in the lining only (which was not cut on the bias), which would have to be stretched out in the bias fashion fabric.  As modern wearers rarely have as strong a difference between bust and waist as corset trained women in the 1860’s, this dart was omitted in the final draft.

The original pattern was further trimmed along all the long seams with braid.

Trim materials and styles were adjusted to what is available today.

 

Suggestions:

The hem should to be leveled in a fitting, as every hoop/cage/skirt support is different.  The original pattern showed a trained back, I would say about 6"-10”.

 

The overlap at the bust is only about ½” as in many period dresses.  I would suggest a matching strip layered behind the opening to cover any gaposis.

 

The gown is flat lined in the bodice, down to the hips only.  There should be a hem facing as well as hemtape.

This gown is a high fashion dress and deserves nice fabric and attention to detail.

The basic pattern of this gown could be trimmed in many other ways - we found a few fashion prints which show alternatives:

18611861
1861
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