1850's Day Dress 18" Doll Clothes Pattern

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Extremely large puffed sleeves were highly fashionable during the early Victorian Era, but as these sleeves reached their greatest proportions, they began to deflate and droop eventually giving way to gently sloping shoulders. By the 1850s the fullness of the sleeves had dropped from the shoulders to below the elbow. This evolution of fashion took place just as the Industrial Revolution was gaining momentum so fabric was still very expensive and clothing still time consuming to make. Practical women kept up with the latest fashions by having their old dresses altered. To tame the excessively large puffed sleeves, dressmakers often pleated the excess fabric around the upper pushing the fullness more toward the elbow. 

Extra instructions are included in this PDF pattern for special details such as the smocked sleeves, pleated skirt, and piped seams. 


Supplies Needed:
-2/3 yard lightweight woven fabric such as cotton or cotton blends.  Not suitable for knits
Contrast for the Collar and the Undersleeves:
- 1/6 yard lightweight woven fabric such as cotton batiste, muslin, or handkerchief linen (scrap pieces or fat quarters work well).  Not suitable for knits.
Contrast for Piping and Belt:
- 1/4 yard lightweight fabric such as lawn, silk, or taffeta.  Not suitable for knits.
- 1/6 yard lightweight fabric such as cotton batiste or muslin (scrap pieces or fat quarter work well).  Lining may be white or another color that compliments the dress fabric.  Not suitable for knits.
-2 yards soutache braid
- 5 size 4/0 snaps. 1 size 1/0 snap.  3-inches of 1/2-inch wide hook and loop tape or 1/4-inch  buttons may be used instead of snaps
-5 small buttons to conceal snaps, 1 ribbon buckle with a 1/2-inch slide, and 1 decorative shank button to attach at the collar


Skill Level: Intermediate; The basic pattern itself is not too difficult, but some sewing experience is helpful. 

What You Get: One 17 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides step-by-step digitally drawn 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!

*Creating a customer account will ensure that you have the ability to access your purchased (and free) files at any time.

For detailed information and answers to the most common questions, be sure to read the Terms of Use and FAQ's related to the doll clothes patterns sold at Pixie Faire.

PixieFaire and the designers featured are not affiliated with American Girl®.

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A Pixie Faire Customer
United States

1850's day dress--love it!

As always, Thimbles and Acorns makes me (and my dolls) look good. I love her "it's all in the details" hints. This pattern is special because of those shirred sleeves. I just have to save Shari's styles for when I feel like I want to take my time, to do the pattern justice. This designer is a treasure!

SUE W. verified customer review of 1850's Day Dress 18 Doll Clothes Pattern
United States

Lovely Dress

The finished dress is very beautiful. Make sure you read and understand the instructions. I have a lot of experience dressmaking, and was a bit overconfident. I had to redo the bodice and sleeves because I didn't read carefully! Overall, I will be looking for more of these patterns. Really lovely.

Gretchen*Jones verified customer review of 1850's Day Dress 18 Doll Clothes Pattern
Heather N.
United States

My favorite so far

I love the style of this pattern and it looks great all made up. There is one error, however. It is missing the written instruction to cut off 1/2 inch of the skirt facing from the proper left. Totally confused me until I really studied the illustrations. But, I have made two of them so far and they look fantastic.

Heather N. verified customer review of 1850's Day Dress 18 Doll Clothes Pattern
Rhonda A.

1860 dress

Nice detailed pattern, but directions could be more detailed especially with the lining and under sleeves. I am an experienced sewer ( over 50 years of garment making) and have spent more time with the seam ripper than sewing. Should have sewn with cotton instead of silk and linen first.

Karen M.

Love all your patterns!!

Love all your patterns!!