My late 1850s or early 1860s brown taffeta day dress is inspired by this beautiful 1855-7 brown silk day dress which is trimmed with black velvet bands and fringe.
I used brown non-historically accurate polyester taffeta – silk taffeta is so expensive 🙁 – wide black velvet ribbon and black fringe. I’d planned to trim the whole skirt with velvet ribbon and fringe like the dress in the V&A museum but I made the dress for a special event and ran out of time. 😉 And I would’ve loved to replicate the pretty black silk fringe with copper-colored chenille pompoms, but I couldn’t find anything similar.
I made a matching hat for the outfit, similar to the hat in this 1865 photograph. The hat is made with the same taffeta over a stiffly starched fabric foundation. The edge is bound with black velvet ribbon, and decorated with a taffeta bow which is trimmed with black fringe. I’m thinking about trimming the hat with a black ostrich feather. What do you think?
The bodice has pagoda sleeves which are usually worn with engageantes (false undersleeves). I’m wearing the dress over my usual underwear: chemise, corset, crinoline and my Victorian ruffled petticoat.
My hairstyle is inspired by this 1870 braided updo.
In this picture I’m dressed for indoors wearing my handmade Limerick lace day cap.
And in this picture I’m ready to go out: wearing the hat and thin black leather gloves.