Making a Red 1830s Day Dress, Part Two

Sorry for the lack of updates! I have been doing a lot of blog stuff, but I somehow forgot to write actual posts.

I’m currently in the process of updating my blog format, so the sidebar will be really wonky and there may be dead links all over the place for the next few days.

I’m trying to separate cosplay/historical stuff, and get all my posts into proper categories. In addition to that I want to get a FAQ and About Me page written. It’s all been quite a bit more time consuming then I had expected, but hopefully by the end of the week everything will be sorted out and much more current!


This is the second post on how i’m making my red pleated front dress. Post one can be read here!

Today i’m talking about making the sleeves, skirt and basic assembly.

I started by making the sleeves, I knew the pattern for these needed to be giant but I wasn’t sure how giant so these took a bit of fiddling and several re-drafts before I was finally happy with them. My sleeves ended up being a full sixy inches wide before they were pleated down.


I cut my sleeves out, marked out all the pleats, then spend two hours pinning them all in place. Once that was done I sewed them down and I was left with something that resembled a sleeve!


I set that aside for the time being and began work on the cuff. After I created a pattern that fit me, this really wasn’t difficult. Unfortunately I made the sleeves too short, so I added the lace to make this less obvious!


The lace was sewn down.


Then I sewed those to my giant poofy, freshly pleated sleeves.


I’d left enough room to french seam the sides of my sleeves, but not enough at the top. To finish it off nicely I made bias tape from the cotton I used for lining, then sewed that on.


Once that was finished I cut my cuff pattern out of cotton, this would serve as lining. I hand sewed the lining in, and aside from the back seam, my sleeves were done!


I did up the back seam, then stitched the sleeves onto the bodice.


After that was done the bodice was completely finished, and it was time to work on the skirt!

The skirt ended up being almost four yards of cotton sateen that I cut to be fifty seven inches long.


I hand stitched a 1.5 inch rolled hem and the length ended up being perfect – something that pleased me a lot since my last dress was way too long.



Then I went ahead and pleated the whole thing down to twenty seven inches. Oddly enough, this took much longer then the hemming!


I sewed across the top to keep all the pleats in place, then I sewed the bodice on…and that was it! I have sewn a zipper in for fitting purposes but I will replace this with lacing or buttons before taking proper pictures of it.

I think this dress would look really lovely in a rose garden…future dream photoshoot, I suppose!

My next blog post will be talking about the thing that really finishes off the look – the bonnet!



6 thoughts on “Making a Red 1830s Day Dress, Part Two

  1. Brenda says:

    Angela, your talent is just breathtaking. and your feel for era/time pieces is amazing for one so young. keep up the beautiful work. i just love your work, cant wait to see more. god bless!

  2. Alisha says:

    This is probably a dumb question, but what is your method for getting the hem length? Do you just measure yourself and go by that or..?

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