1864 Wool Day Dress1864 Wool on DaeLee1860s Ribbon Belt

Inspiration
This dress was designed for wear at Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona, site of the first (1864) Governor’s Mansion. As one of the, then, younger reenactors I wanted to portray a younger–and consequently more fashionable–persona. I also have this thing about picking the hardest possible project amongst given choices. So, of course I went with an elliptical hoop and plaid that had to be matched at the seams. I also really liked the yoke-shaped trim just coming into vogue in 1864.

Pattern
The hoop pattern was enlarged from a pattern published in the Costume Society of America’s journal, Dress (I was loaned the journal, so I can’t give the issue info.) It was hard to image how the progressive gores would end up elliptical, but they did.

The dress pattern is Past Pattern’s civil war day dress, using the coat sleeves option. I think the only modifications are skirt’s box pleats, which may well have been an option–I can’t remember, and the longer back than front length.

The fancy fabric rosette belt uses a ribbon flower pattern from Dover’s Ribbon Art publication and turned inside out (It just looked better that way).

Materials

Construction