Blue Striped Dress

A blue striped dress and sheer white jacket based off of an 1849 French fashion plate.

Inspiration & Resources

Useful Books & Links Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their Construction c.1860-1940. Drama Book Publishers, 1977.

Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women's Dress 1800-1909. Players Press, Inc., 1991.

Construction Details


I fell in love with the blue striped dress on the left of the above fashion plate and immediately knew I had to make it. Luckly, my dear friend Sara decided she had to have the green dress on the right and hillarity ensued. We wore our dresses together at Costume College 2010 and posed with a framed copy of the fashion plate.

I decided to construct the outfit as an evening dress with removable jacket so I could wear it for other occasions. Needless to say, it doesn't fit my dress form at all.


For the main dress, I used my base Victorian bodice pattern (originally scaled up from Hunnisett), altering it to have princess seams instead of darts. The taffeta is flatlined in cotton sateen and the top and bottom edges are piped, as are the sleeves. The bodice closes in back with hooks and eyes.


I decided to make the skirt and bodice separate so I could easily refit it later or make a day version  with the left over silk. The front 2/3s of the skirt is pleated with knife pleats and the very back is cartridge pleated. The skirt was then stitched to a waistband and basted to the bodice.

The jacket is made from a cream cotton voile with a thin brown stripe and white stripe plaid. It is flatlined in white cotton lawn. Originally, I was going to go for a pure white sheer like the fashion plate, but the taffeta is more dusty with gold and cream stripes and the contrast was too stark. Also, the fashion plate shows lace for the ruffles on the sleeves, but I couldn't find any lace that a) was wide enough, b) I liked, and c) that I could afford. That was a hard combination to come by. So instead I used self fabric ruffles with the selvege (luckily it was a pretty one) for the hem to save me some time.