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.