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Surplice Bodice Dress 1810 - 1815

  • FL214 cover
  • FL214 notions
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Product Description

This simple dress attests to American women’s ability to keep up with European fashions while modifying them to suit simpler middle-class American taste and budgets--and to update garments to keep up with fashion. A cheerful print of good quality buy modest cost is made up with a fashionable crossover (surplice) bodice, apron front skirt, and a small flounce. Hem accents appeared late in the first decade of the 1800s and increased in volume and complexity as skirts began to widen after 1810. This dress’ relatively narrow skirt (84 inch hem circumference) may place its current construction closer to 1810.

FIT: The very high period waist is higher than what a woman in the 21st century would wear and cannot be easily achieved without some form of corsetry. This dress would have been worn over a chemise, corset, and with at least one petticoat. 

FABRIC: The original fabric is a light cotton with a soft drape. The pattern works well in various weights of cotton and silks.

CHOOSING SIZE: When deciding which size is correct for you to use, measure your rib cage under your bust, preferably with your corset and underpinnings on. This is the single most important measurement. This waistband has 1” ease and is meant to fit snugly to your body. Since the cross over front is gathered and tied with drawstrings, it can accommodate a variety of bosoms.  Also included are instructions on how to make a 1790s variation* based on details contained within the dress.

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