Kay Dee Designs




December 2009

This dress was created for the Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. It is based on a Victorian silk day dress dating back to roughly 1860.

1860s silk day dress   Victorian Day Dress pagoda sleeves   1860's silk day dress   1860s silk day dress

Victorian Crinoline Simplicity 7216   Victorian Hoop Skirt Simplicity 7216   Victorian Petticoat   Petticoat Tucks


Reference Photos

1860s silk taffeta day dress

I used this vintage dress as the inspiration for my gown. Unfortunately, the museum article where I had found this image is no longer online and I failed to copy the text information about this gown. I only know that the title of the page was "1860s day dress silk taffeta pagoda sleeves." I recall that the date on the gown was "early 1860s."



FABRIC: Iridescent green and red striped silk taffeta. The green stripes are floating wefts. The trim is made from silk charmeuse strips which were box pleated. The center of the trim is made from cut strips of silk velvet.

DRESS PATTERN: Laughing Moon #111 Early 1860s Day Dress and Laughing Moon #114 Ladies Round Dress. I used the bodice pattern and Manchuron pattern from #114 (I don't recall why I took this approach, perhaps because the bodice was lower in the front similar to the extant gown I was replicating? And because I wanted to make sure the Manchron would set into the bodice properly?) I used the skirt and pagoda sleeve pattern from #111. I added quite a bit to the skirt circumference, and I altered the shape of the pagoda sleeve in an attempt to replicate the wider sleeves of the vintage gown used as my inspiration. The front of my skirt was knife pleated, and the back is cartridge pleated.

UNDERGARMENTS: I wore a Laughing Moon Victorian corset (Pattern #100) and the matching chemise underneath the bodice. I used Simplicity 7216 view A for the crinoline. I believe this would have been the appropriate shape for the early 1860s as the fashion had not quite yet moved to the elliptical crinoline seen in the later 1860s. The petticoat pattern was Simplicity 9764, and I may have possibly added to the circumference, cartridge pleating the petticoat into the waist band rather than gathering it.

Robert Land 1860's Walking Shoes

SHOES: I purchased the Lady's 1860's American Walking Shoe from Robert Land. They gave wonderful fast service. The first pair I ordered was too large (I usually wear between a size 8 and 8.5 and the 8 was still too large), and arranging an exchange was quick and easy. The new size 7.5 fits perfectly and the soft leather is very comfortable.


Back to Costumes Index >

Kay Dee Designs