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Victorian Workdress with 3 Sleeves and optional Collar 1836-55

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Victorian Workdress with 3 Sleeves and optional Collar 1836-55


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The 1830s Workdress Sewing 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 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 are a large short sleeve, a smaller short sleeve, a long sleeve and collar patterns. With a little background knowledge you can construct a variety of early vicorian dresses based on this pattern. Patterns for the 1830s are usually scarce.

Sizes US 16-20 (= Bust 95-105 cm = 38″-42″, Waist 75-85 cm = 30″-34″) or US 22-26 (= Bust 110-120 cm = 44″-48″, Taille 90-100 cm = 36″-40″).

Additional information


US 16-20, US 22-26