View Full Version : Sheer Dresses

05-13-2006, 10:50 PM
Hi List,
I haven't been real active in the hobby for many years due to work and getting my husband through cancer.
I need some help with making a sheer dress. I have some sheer material, about 9 yards in a cotton stripe with many colors. What sort of dress might it be? I want a day dress that is light and airy, not too fussy but I don't want to look like everyone else. Is that an accurate interpretation of a sheer dress? What happened to the archives? Did we loose them again? I know we have done discussions on this before.
What I need help with is basic contruction of a sheer.
1st would it be a cotton?
2nd is the hem lined
3rd is there a standard bodice type for a sheer or could I copy a CDV or fashion plate?
I do thank you very much for your help. I am feeling lost as I haven't been in practice!
Donna Seale

Delia Godric
05-15-2006, 07:33 AM
There are several discussions about sheer dresses that you will find helpful here: http://elizabethstewartclarkandcompany.com/Forum/viewforum.php?f=4

Anna Worden

05-15-2006, 11:51 AM
While the best thing is to view an original in person, we cannot do that all the time. Thankfully, there have been sheer dress images posted online. Anna Allen's The Graceful Lady has images of sheers (and other garments): http://www.thegracefullady.com/civilwargowns/originals_sheergowns.htm

She also has posted several images of women in sheer dresses: http://www.thegracefullady.com/civilwargowns/cdvs_sheergowns.htm

05-17-2006, 09:46 AM
The Mantua Maker website has a section devoted to sheer dresses:

I also recommend the Atlanta History Center/ Peachtree Mercantile 1860 V-neck dress pattern, but you can adapt a regular gathered bodice pattern as well:

06-08-2006, 06:33 PM
Mrs. Clarkís site is down. I am also constructing a sheer dress and I have a question about the bodice lining. How and where do I attach it? Is it separate from the dress except at the waist or is it included in the shoulder and side seams? I cut the lining pieces lower at the neckline as I have seen on picture of originals and reproductions but thatís as far as I've gotten.

06-09-2006, 10:15 AM
The message board is down; the rest of the site is still there. :)

There is a good amount of variation in the lining/bodice construction of sheers; the lightest look, in my opinion, is in those repros and originals that have the lining and bodice treated as one only at the waistline. Second to that, treating them as one at the waist and armscye. I particularly like those originals that have the functional closure in the lining, with the fashion fabric "floating" over it, fastened only at the waistline, and perhaps with one hook at the top of the neckline.

If a sheer uses a hem facing rather than a turned hem, it works well to use white as the facing color; this gives a solid white "shadow" under the skirts (over white petticoats.)

06-12-2006, 09:55 AM
Mrs. Clark,
Thank you for your help. I also like the idea of the dress bodice "floating" over the lining. The fabric is very light and sheer and I worried that it would pull if I attached the lining anywhere but the waist. My next question isÖ....Is it appropriate for the chemise to show through the sheer sleeves? My chemise is made form your free pattern (which I love). I thought about putting capís on the sleeves but I wasnít sure if I wanted to.
I am happy to say that I did put a white cotton hem facing on the skirt. I was thinking the same thing about the white and the petticoats. (I love pretty underpinnings!)
Iím sorry I misspoke; I meant your board not your whole site!

06-12-2006, 07:14 PM
You could absolutely do a small cap sleeve in the lining... it's not unusual at all in sheer dresses that have linings.