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The dress featured here is the cover dress for my newly released 1850's Day Dress Pattern with Shirred Sleeves. The construction of this dress was photographed from start to finish to create the illustrations used in the pattern.

Extremely large puffed sleeves were highly fashionable during the early Victorian Era, but as these sleeves reached their greatest proportions, they began to deflate and droop eventually giving way to gently sloping shoulders. By the 1850s the fullness of the sleeves had dropped from the shoulders to below the elbow. This evolution of fashion took place just as the Industrial Revolution was gaining momentum so fabric was still very expensive and clothing still time consuming to make. Practical women kept up with the latest fashions by having their old dresses altered. To tame the excessively large puffed sleeves, dressmakers often pleated the excess fabric around the upper pushing the fullness more toward the elbow.

This dress is modeled with a crinoline in photo 2, however, it looks nice without it as well as you can see in photo 3. See my shop or contact me if you would like to order a crinoline to go with this dress.

The fabric of this dress is a Civil War reproduction woven plaid of olive green, plum, tan, and red and the skirt is calf length, which was the appropriate length for a pre-teen girl during the Victorian Era.

The doll, shoes, and crinoline are not part of this listing, however, a complementary wood hanger is included with each dress.

Constructions Details: Fabric is pre-washed. All seam allowances are professionally finished with a serger. The inside seams of the cuffs and lining are hand stitched as are the self-bias bands around the arms. The bodice is fully lined for extra body and a neat finish. Seams on the bodice and waist are self-piped. Features a black silk belt with gold tone buckle. Tiny black buttons conceal the snap closures in the back. The cuff of the inner sleeve features a small placket and snaps snugly around the wrist. The back of the dress closes with 4 snaps to ensure a snug fit. Fabric is a beautiful, 100% cotton Civil War Reproduction plaid.

1850's Day Dress with Pleated and Shirred Sleeves for 18 inch American Girl Doll


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: Cotton, Metal Buckle
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 2639 reviews
  • Favorited by: 14 people