Friday, May 18, 2012

Clara's 1841 Rose Dress

Clara's dress for this week is a pretty day dress trimmed with roses. In the 1840s, the slope-shouldered look became popular, so dresses were sewn to hide the natural shoulder line, and mimic a round shouldered look. Women would practice holding their shoulders a certain way to accentuate the rounded look. The things people will do to be "in style"!

However, more practical women simply bought well-tailored clothing that were cut to provide the illusion of rounded shoulders. The wide v-neck and off-the-shoulder sleeve seam provide the appearance of sloping shoulders. The wide sleeves and the wide skirt also helped to accentuate the shape, while at the same time making the waist look much smaller.

You may remember from previous posts (like this one and this one) that young ladies in the early 1800s usually did not wear ankle-length gowns until they were teenagers. Instead, a proper young lady wore a mid-calf gown. In the 1840s, she also wore ankle-length pantalettes underneath. Even with a lightweight material, the layers of cloth and petticoats would be very hot in the summer.

Clara also has a bonnet to wear outdoors along with her dress. It has quite a few ruffles and a couple of roses to match the gown. And last of all, some plain boots finish off Clara's outfit for this week.


To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:


Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will be available on this blog as long as I continue to post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:

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