DIY Dress kit- 1836-1855


Are you a sewist? Do you like to make your own historical clothing? We are here to help! Maggie May Clothing is excited to announce we are partnering with Past Patterns to bring you THE BEST in D.I.Y historical fashion!

With this D.I.Y. kit, you will receive:

  1. one copy of the multi sized paper pattern
  2. 7-8.5 yards (depending on size) YOUR CHOICE 44/45″ wide reproduction cotton fabric.* Please specify FABRIC DESCRIPTION at checkout
  3. 2 yards lightweight cotton muslin for lining
  4. 4 yards cotton cording for self made piping
  5. NOT INCLUDED are closures, trims/embellishments, boning, or thread. Please purchase additional yardage separately for ruffles, ruchings, and other self made trims not included in the main pattern.

*Kit pricing includes cotton fabric only. Linen and wool fabric subject to additional fees.

SKU: PP017 Categories: , , Tags: , , ,


Maggie May Clothing is partnering with Past Patterns Pattern Co. to bring you the absolute BEST in DIY historical sewing! We have drawn from Saundra Altman’s meticulously researched historical sewing patterns and curated for you a collection of sewing patterns specifically suited to reproducing every day wear for ladies and children.

Past Patterns is THE STANDARD in historical pattern making and has been providing us the most authentic and historically accurate sewing patterns since 1979.  We are pairing each carefully selected pattern with our collection of reproduction historical print fabrics to bring you the highest quality materials for all your D.I.Y. needs!

The fabrics shown in the image galleries are used for example. They may or may not be available at the time of purchase. Please be sure to SPECIFY YOUR CHOICE of fabric by including the FABRIC NUMBER at checkout.

Pattern Details:

This pattern was created from “A Full High Gown, To Open in Front” in the Workwoman’s Guide. The cutting instructions and construction by the author were adequate for 1836 but would be difficult for today’s sewer to understand. To make it easier to sew, we copied the construction and sewing techniques used in original nineteenth century work dresses found in private the museum collections.

According to the author a full high gown that opens in front is “particularly suitable for house-maids, dairy or kitchen-maids, char and washerwomen; they should be made of the strongest print, . . . It is bad economy to buy a cheap poor material for a working dress, under the idea that it will do very well for common purposes, when they should stand a good deal of wear and tear.”

The gathered bodice is secured by the lining. If you do not want a gathered bodice you may cut a bodice using the lining pattern pieces. The fashion fabric and lining are then sewn as one or as we say today the bodice is flat lined.

Accompanying the dress pattern is a large short sleeve, a smaller short sleeve, a long sleeve and collar. All were described as appropriate to wear with the work dress.

Additional information

Weight1 lbs
Dimensions17 × 15 × 3 in

8-14, 16-20, 22-26


B, C, D