A gown for The Costume Society of America

This past week I attended The Costume Society of America’s National Symposium in Atlanta! To support the organization, I made this mid 19th century reproduction lady’s dress as a donation item for their silent auction.

19th century Southern dress19th century Southern dress

This gown in inspired by an extant 1850s-1860s gown in the McMinn County Heritage Museum in Athens, Tennessee.

McMinn County Living Heritage Museum

I chose this dress as my inspiration because I wanted to call attention to the importance of Southern textiles and bring attention to smaller dress collections around the South.

This reproduction gown has all the bells and whistles!- Included are a contrasting hem binding, a fully lined bodice, bound arm holes, and glass buttons. The fabric used for this gown is a documented 19th century reproduction from the University of Nebraska’s textile collection.

19th century dress19th century dress details

19th century calico glass buttons19th century dress trim19th century dress hemline

The only modern sewing features in this gown are the machine made button holes.

19th century American South dress
Follow up:
This dress ended up at Historic Nash Farm in Texas! Don’t these interpreters look great!

About Susan

Hi! My name is Susan and I am a historian, seamstress, teacher, mother, and wife. My passion for history has manifested itself in the art of recreating clothing from different periods of time. Growing up in the American South, I am heavily schooled in the art of recreating clothing from the 19th century. After nearly a decade of immersing myself primarily in the Victorian period, I found the need to branch out and explore other periods of time. However, it is my connection with the American South and the clothing of rural America that continues to be the driving force behind my designs.