In the mid-nineteenth century dressmakers applied many intricate trims to the garments they fashioned. One of my favorites is a very economical and ingenious trim, made by cutting apart striped fabric, turning under the edges and sewing it onto contrasting dress material.
I made this dress using the Izannah Walker Doll Clothes pattern that I sell, which is also included in my Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll Making Class. Instead of using brown polished cotton to face the hem, I used a red floral print. The trim was cut from alternating rows of striped fabric and applied around the skirt, cuffs and shaped waistband. I also used it for the band around the neckline.
Other alterations to the pattern include a shorter skirt length and additional fullness in the skirt, which I was able to add by making cartridge pleats rather than gathers.
I always enjoy making this type of trim, mainly because I think it’s such a neat idea. It doesn’t cost much money to do, which would have been an important consideration at the time. All you need is striped fabric, new or recycled, scissors, an iron and some time. I find that spray starch is also helpful, but it’s not a necessity.
Here are two more examples of the same type of trim. Both are reproduction children’s dresses that I have made. The photos show both the original dresses and the reproductions.
c. 1830’s to Mid-1840’s Dress for a Very Young Boy
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Late 1840’s to Late 1850’s Young Child’s Dress
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Want to know more about mid-1800’s dress trims? Click here to read my post on waved braid.