Cosplay & Historic Dresses

1850-55 Farmer’s Dress

I sewed this dress rather spontaneously during my stay in Sweden, after I found a beautiful, checkered cotton fabric in a local shop. I called it my farmer’s dress because it resembles the style of simple day- and workingwomen’s dresses.

Being very economical in cutting, I managed with 2.5 meters of material. Two meters went into the skirt, resulting in a hem of just under 3 meters. Due to the humble width of the hem and the complete hand-made production, I dated it a few years earlier than my reference, which would have already been worn over a crinoline.

The skirt and bodice were made in one piece and are connected by a reinforced waistband. While the bodice closes with hidden hooks and embroidered buttonholes, the skirt opening is on the side. Therefore, the closure is a bit more complicated than on many of my other projects. The width of the skirt was pleated all around in cartridge pleats.

As seen in one of the lower pictures, there is also a pocket under the side skirt opening. Although its shape resembles that of a Rococo tie-on pocket, it is actually sewn directly to the waistband. In addition to providing storage space, it also makes sure that my under layers do not show in case the slit opens up during movement.

For the pictures, I am wearing the dress with my blue apron. This was originally a cotton curtain on sale, which I took apart and repurposed. Not visible are the chemise, corset, drawers and a sturdy petticoat. Like the dress, all other pieces were completely hand-sewn and based on my self-drawn patterns.

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