Fashion is where expression meets practicality and lures it into the realm of the extreme. Though fashion trends have a tendency to push the limits, practicality always manages to bring them back into balance... at least for a time. Full skirts were the hallmark of the early Victorian era and by the 1860s they had expanded to as wide as six feet in diameter. However, as railroads began forging paths around the world, women began to travel more and more. Full skirts and crinolines made for poor traveling companions and the boundary for this fashion trend had been reached. Still, it would be a gallant exit. The 1870s saw a great boom in the textile industry. Hand looms were replaced by more efficient steam driven power looms which resulted in a larger supply of cloth and fancy trims at greatly reduced prices. The great cage crinolines were shed and the surplus fabric from the full skirts was draped in elaborately decorated layers and pulled toward the back in large bustles that were reminiscent of those worn a century earlier. The fashionable silhouette had become smaller and more mobile, but what was lost in size was more than made up for with the elaborate trimming which would become the hallmark of the later Victorian Era.
This dress pattern by Thimbles and Acorns features a basque bodice that closes in in the front with five buttons or snaps and 3/4 length sleeves finished with two piece turned cuffs. The simple five paneled bustle skirt has a slight flair and extra fullness in the back giving it ample room to be worn over a bustle. A draped overskirt gives this dress a quintessential Early Bustle Period look. The overskirt can be attached directly to the underskirt or mounted on a separate waistband to allow for mixing and matching pieces.
This PDF sewing pattern is designed to fit 18-inch dolls such as American Girl®.
Recommended Fabrics: Dress and Lining in lightweight woven fabric such as cotton, cotton blends gingham, lawn, linen, or silk. Not suitable for knits.
Skill Level: Intermediate
What You Get: One 26 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides digitally drawn step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.Download, Print, Sew!
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I thought the directions were very well written and in a sensible order. The amount of fabric suggested was the correct amount so that not so much was left over. I love the details in the design especially the cuffs and draping. It did seem that the back bodice upper lining piece was a little narrow in the upper shoulder area. There was more fullness in the outer fabric than there should have been and I was sure I used proper seam allowances. It would have been less confusing if the term swag had been used for the front overskirt. My granddaughter enjoys learning about the historic fashions so I always include the information about the dresses that is included. I have made a number of these patterns and she likes dressing her dolls and displaying them even though she is nearly a teenager. Hope you come up with some new designs so I can make more dresses.
Great pattern easy instructions
I really enjoyed making this pattern. The instructions were easy to follow and the pattern pieces fit well. I starteled with the Lobster Tail Bustle and added a petticoat with 5 rows of self ruffle and finished with the Kinsale Cloak. I also liked that the jacket was fully lined, I think it makes a differance in the finished look. This isnt a pattern to make if you are rushed, if you can take your time you will be very proud of the result
I finally decided to tackle this pattern and ended up with one of the most beautiful outfits I've made in a long time. The instructions were clear with plenty of illustrations (for those of us who do better with looking at pictures than actually reading)! I made a couple of minor adaptations (personal preference, not a problem with the pattern), added a Flossie Potter hat and just sat back and admired the results. If you are an experienced seamstress and love details this pattern will not disappoint.