Pink and Brown Jacket

A pink silk taffeta jacket trimmed with brown velvet ribbon and coordinating brown taffeta petticoat, based off of several 1849 fashion plates.

Inspiration & Resources

Useful Books & Links Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen's Dresses and Their Construction c.1860-1940. Drama Book Publishers, 1977.

Cunnington, C. Willett. English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century: A Comprehensive Guide with 1,117 Illustrations. Dover Publications, Inc., 1990.

Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women's Dress 1800-1909. Players Press, Inc., 1991.

Construction Details


This jacket and petticoat combination was originally inspired by the pink dress in The Governess by Rebecca Solomon. I loved the bell shaped sleeves with the cutout edged in trim. Then to flesh out my design, I looked at several fashion plates finally settling on some from 1849 (a great year for fashion). I liked the look of a very open neckline with a crossed front chemisette and bell shaped undersleeves under the jacket. I didn’t have enough pink silk taffeta to make a full dress with, but I did have some coordinating brown taffeta in the stash to use for the petticoat. 

I used my base Victorian bodice pattern (originally scaled up from Hunnisett) and modifed the sleeves and neckline. For the tails I used 18th century jacket patterns as the base. I have no idea how acurate they are, but I think they are adorable!
The outfit is worn over a 1844 corset, and the skirt is supported with a bumpad, corded petticoat, flounced petticoat and tucked petticoat. Despite the fact that it was a rush job, I’m still pretty pleased with how this outfit came out. It does have a few issues, but it was fun to wear and I love the color combination.


The neckline is too wide to sit without gaping, so instead of the narrow chemisette I originally made, I need a full fitted blouse to wear under it if I don’t want to keep pinning the layers together. Also, there is some wrinkling under the bust and on the back that wasnt on my muslin. Finally, the petticoat has the most ghetto cartridge pleats ever! I ended up sewing them in the airport with about 3 hours of sleep. They look truly atrocious but my dear friend Sara lovingly helped me attach them to the waistband the night before the party, so will probably never fix them. Also, the jacket covers it so it’s not noticeable. It’s a funny reminder not to wait until the last minute.

I also added a second row of brown velvet ribbon to the pink jacket after the event. I had run out before the party, and since I purchased it in LA, I wasn’t about to get more. Originally I wanted two rows around the sleeves, neckline and jacket skirts, but I only had enough to do the sleeves and once around the neckline. My friend Jenny-Rose came to the rescue! She had also bought the same ribbon and was kind enough to give me her hank so I could add a second row to the neckline.

I made a new corset to wear under this outfit, based off of the 1844 corset pattern in Corsets and Crinolines. The corset is one layer of pink silk taffeta interlined with coutil and boned with spiral steel boning. It is finished with cream lace.