1860s Evening Gown

September 2009 – June 2010

A mid to late 1860s evening bodice to go with my original purple dress. It’s Truly Victorian’s 1830s bodice pattern (TV#455) with some minor modifications. Center front was cut on the straight, and I replaced the single dart with two fairly curved darts. The sleeves are View A of Past Pattern’s “1863 Ball Gown Bodice” (#704). Not the latest fashion for sleeves on late 1860s ballgowns, but I’m ok with being a little out of style. A bit of vintage ecru lace trims the sleeves and front neck. Neckline and armscye are piped.

Stones and crystals

The first wearing of this bodice was to a ball, and I had issues with the back hook and eyes. They were continuously coming unhooked. I’ve done this type of closure before without any problems. But then again, I’ve never given it a dance trial. Replacing every other hook with a snap solved the problem. I would certainly consider lacing the bodice closed next time.
Underneath the dress is my usual corset, chemise, elliptical hoop, elliptical petticoat, and a bum pad. I made a necklace and bracelet of purple and orange stones and crystals to match the earrings. My short, white leather gloves were still in the laundry when we took these photos. But I forgot my hankie …oops!