This could also be called a colonial dress. Legitimate name and all, but since I've been studying more about historical costume I prefer to call it a peasant dress from the Georgian era. It sounds much more Learned.
Anne-girl was kind enough to take these pictures for me last evening, although I think we did it a bit too late in the evening. It was actually seven-thirty, contrary to what the appearance of the photos might suggest about midnight.
Above is a top view of the dress. It's actually two pieces-- the dark blue is the overdress (one piece) and the white ruffles you can see at the neck and sleeves are part of a shift (or is it chemise?) worn underneath. The Felicity dresses made by American Girl are usually just one-piece (with ruffles sewn into the neck and sleeves) but that's not historically accurate, so I decided to make mine two pieces.
The nice thing about the shift/chemise (help me, someone, and tell me what it's supposed to be called) is that it can be worn with other outfits too. I've been experimenting with a Lorna-Doone-style bodice of late, and that could be worn over the shift with a gathered skirt for a 17th-century look.
Notice my lovely period-correct shoes (er, lack thereof) and 21st-century cuff socks. I suppose I could make some 18th-century stockings, but the idea is not particularly appealing. The dress is, in general, long enough to cover up any anachronistic footwear.
We moved indoors when the lack of light became too much of a problem, and she took a few shots of the back view. I used these instructions to make the bodice pattern, by the way, and the eyelets are all hand-sewn from these instructions. The sleeves are simple rectangles gathered at the top, and the skirt is made from the skirt front pattern piece of the Regency dress (Simplicity 4055, B). I simply cut four of those, sewed them together, hemmed them and gathered the top to match the bodice. It's intentionally longer in the back than in the front, for ease of walking. Oh, and I used two ribbon ties, sewn on either side of the placket, to close the dress at the hips. The bodice is laced with embroidery floss-- not ideal, but it's what I had on hand. Do you have a suggestion for something a little more practical?
Technically I should be wearing a petticoat under this, but I haven't made one yet. The shift is long enough to serve all purposes at present.
I'm currently working on a mock-up for a Victorian ball gown (it's looking more like a modern dress, unfortunately, but I'm doing what I can) and today began cutting out pieces for a 50's-era party dress. I was thinking of posting a tutorial for the 50's dress, if it works out-- would anyone be interested in reading that? I don't intend to turn this into a sewing blog, but I do plan to blog about sewing from time to time. What do y'all think?