Here is a wonderful photograph that demonstrates the transition between the 1840s and early 1850s. The short-waisted bodice and stitched-down sleeves with the puffy “bells” above the cuff are typically 1840s. The main difference is in the width of the skirt, which places the gown in the 1850s. Perhaps this lady just kept the old-fashioned bodice style a bit longer. I am not sure, since I’ve never seen this sleeve and bodice style used so late. Very interesting! If you’d like to make a reproduction of this gown, there is a good pattern available from Past Patterns. It’s called the “Lowell Mill Dress.”

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