I recently had the pleasure to creating a gown for “Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln.” “Mrs. Lincoln’s” husband portrays President Abraham Lincoln and together, the two have been bringing history to life across the nation for over 10 years now!
This gown was a joint effort between Mrs. Lincoln and myself. The gown is based upon my 1860s era day dress and loosely inspired by this gown worn by Mrs. Lincoln in this 1860s.
The fabric along with a variety of trims were selected by Mrs. Lincoln. I draped and constructed the gown.
The color palette for this gown was inspired by Mary Todd Lincoln’s velvet inauguration dress (as seen below). However, anyone who has ever participated in living history events knows that silk or velvet is not the most appropriate choice for a garment that is meant to be worn multiple times in a variety of (sometimes unpredictable) weather conditions. Thus, Mrs. Lincoln chose to use a high quality yarn dyed/roller print cotton instead.
Here are the results:
The sleeve trim is pale lavender and the sleeve lining is violet.
And no ensemble would be complete without a fashionable bonnet!
While most women during this period had one “good” bonnet they wore regardless whether it matched their gown or not, Mary Todd Lincoln was definitely one who had a variety of millinery. It would not have been unusual for her to have had a different piece of millinery for each outfit!
For more information about “President and Mrs. Lincoln,” please be sure to visit their website!
Image Courtesy Client.