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E-Pattern- 1879 Victorian Dinner Bodice- Bust 34"

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Wearing History #AC105- 1879 Victorian Dinner Bodice

Size: Bust 34", Waist 28", Hip up to 40"

Era: Natural Form Victorian

Difficulty: Advanced

This listing is for an E-Pattern to print yourself at home on your home printer's USA letter and A4 sized paper. This now also includes A0 and 36" Wide copy shop files.

***Notes about the sewn sample photos– The pattern sample can show you how you can accent the pattern with trims and your own embellishment. Embellishment tips are not included in this pattern. The front triangular inset was applied on top of the pattern base and is not included, as it was an applied trimming. The sleeve of the sample was shortened from the original long sleeve that’s included in the sewing pattern. I opted to turn back the tails of the back of the bodice, which was not an original design feature.***



This garment pattern was taken from Harper’s Bazar, March 1879.

This pattern was originally for a single size and printed on a sheet which had many overlapping pattern pieces which had to be transferred by following different dotted lines in order to decode the pieces needed for garments. This pattern has been painstakingly transcribed from the original overlapping pattern into individual pattern pieces in order to make the pattern easier to use. The original period pattern this was taken from had no indication of size and contained no notches, no grain lines, no button markings, and no seam or hem allowance. This pattern follows the original period pattern lines in order to retain authenticity.

As such, this pattern has NO SEAMS OR HEMS ALLOWED. The grain lines included are estimated as a jumping o point for creating your mock up, as none were originall supplied. No yardage information or cutting layouts are included, as they were not included with the original period pattern. No finishing details were included, so you may choose to reference period sewing books for authentic period finishing techniques. Many period sewing books are available for free on the internet from Google Books and similar sources.

Several mock ups will most likely be required for this pattern, so make it first from inexpensive fabrics.


American Duchess has done a review of this e-pattern on her blog. You can read it here.


-A clean, computer drawn pattern of the basic pattern shapes needed to create the garment illustrated. All pieces originally included in the 1879 period pattern for this bodice, made crisp and easier to use than an original pattern. The sleeve pieces are supplemented from another pattern in this same issue, as originally instructed, and will need to be shortened to look like the illustration. Dressmakers of the era were instructed to do the same in the original period instructions.
-Original written paragraph of pattern instructions.
-Written tips of making a mock up and very basic hints on fitting.
-Basic written tips on using a Pre-1910s pattern
-A single size pattern, in the original size of the period pattern.
-3 PDF Files to download and print on your home printer. One instructions for printing e-pattern, one instruction pack, one pattern file.

As per the "About This Pattern" paragraph above, what is not included is standard of patterns of this age.

-NO SEAM OR HEM ALLOWANCE- The sewer may add them at their preferred seam allowance width.
-DOES NOT INCLUDE pieces to make the trimmings, lining, turned back accents, or modesty panel. The dressmaker will need to supplement these by using the pieces included and the original pattern illustration for a guide, as our Victorian sisters would have done.
-NO yardage requirements or cutting layouts
-NO instruction illustrations
-NO finishing techniques

--- About Wearing History Archive Couture Patterns ---

Archive Couture patterns are of Advanced Difficulty and recommended for those who are familiar with putting patterns together with little to no instruction, and who are familiar with pattern alterations for fit. These patterns are have been taken from original historical source materials. These sources may include diagrams, overlapping patterns in magazine issues, early tissue paper patterns, or other period source material. The source material was used by experienced home sewists, dressmakers, or tailors of the period from which they are derived. These patterns were only available only in single sizes, with details such as grain lines or buttonholes most often unmarked. Wearing History has clarified markings (where given) and supplied tips for working with these historical patterns. You may choose to have a modern or period sewing book on hand to help with construction and fitting. Archive Couture patterns follow the period shapes of the original period source material, maintaining the historical accuracy and fit of the completed garment. Fitting a muslin mockup is strongly recommended, as all garments were meant to be worn over period foundation garments or corsetry. Fit and proportion of these patterns are different than modern costume patterns and may require alteration to fit your modern body, even when wearing period style foundations. Several mock ups may be required to achieve ideal fit. We believe these patterns should not be lost to time or languish in historical archives, but be made available for historical sewing enthusiasts of today.



-File Type: PDF
-Printing Format: Both USA 8.5" x 11" and A4 paper.
-Amount of Paper Required: 29 pages total are required.
-Includes 25 pages for pattern sheet, 3 for instructions and cover, 1 for "how to use" sheet.
Once your order has been marked as "completed" you will be able to download your file (more info below)
-The download will be done through my website. You will recieve a unique link to your download.
-The download link will expire after one week OR two downloads, whichever occurs first.

More technical info about this e-pattern:
This pattern is formatted for USA Letter Size or A4 size paper. You will need to print this pattern to 100% scale. Open the "READ-ME-FIRST" File for instructions on printing and piecing your pattern.

This pattern is tiled into letter sized paper. You will print these documents on your home printer, cut, and tape them together, to form a larger pattern layout. Then you cut and use your pattern just as you would a normal home sewing pattern. This pattern file is formatted to fit on both A4 and 8.5" x 11" sizes of paper, and there will be varying thicknesses of white border, which will be cut off, according to pattern instructions.
  • Shipping

    PRINTED PATTERNS are mailed to you and already printed on big paper. Shipping is calculated at checkout. Please allow up to one week for orders to ship.

    E-PATTERNS and E-BOOKS are digital download PDF files you save and print yourself or have printed for you. These will not mail to you. You download them yourself to your computer after checkout.

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    Most patterns come as both A4/US LETTER and A0 size. You will need ADOBE READER, a free program, to print your e-pattern.

    For A4/US LETTER paper:

    Open the "READ-ME-FIRST" File for instructions on printing and piecing your pattern. Print the PDF file on your home printer, cut off on the lines given, and tape them together. Then you cut and use your pattern just as you would a normal home sewing pattern.

    For A0 size:

    This is sent away to a copyshop and printed on big sheets for you. We print A0 pattern sheets at great prices at Pattern Printing Company

  • Returns

    No returns or exchanges are accepted. Please be sure of your pattern size and type of product, either physical or digital, before purchasing.

Carefully Researched

All of our patterns are carefully researched and based on either public domain materials or our own creations. Lauren applies her decades worth of practical application of historical fashion and technical skills when making these patterns, and often supplies watch points for making. External helps are available on Wearing History on YouTube and on Wearing History Blog to help you learn to sew history.