Empire Dress (ca. 1810)


Sewing pattern instruction: Empire style dress, high waist with puff sleeves and gathered neckline, optional with train, different length. Historical or modern design possible, also suitable as a maternity dress.

Order address of this pattern (German language shop): IPPKLH921

Historic Original Sewing Pattern

This is a historic original sewing pattern. For enthusiasts of authentic clothing, it was digitized based on the original paper pattern.

All parts of the sewing pattern, the labeling, the descriptions and the images stem from the original source.

Please note that the quality of the fit, the circumference, the validity of the descriptions (in original orthography) and images potentially may not correspond to today's quality standards anymore.

General remarks


True-to-scale printing: Pay attention to the PDF-Viewer adjustment NO FITTING TO PRINTER PAGE SIZE and check the control square on the first pattern page.

You can reduce paper consumption on large sewing patterns, if you print only required pages, e.g. if different skirt length is possible.

Pattern preparation

The pages are numbered (see overview) and fit together at the framing line mark. Easiest is cutting two of the margins (e.g. right and bottom), first gluing rows, then gluing the rows together.

Material and Cutting

The material consumption cannot be reasonable specified because of the many different sizes and the reqirements of the used materials. Please lay the cut out paper pattern parts on the floor like on the material panel and calculate the required material amount.

The sewing pattern are without seam or hem allowances. Please add.

The sewing pattern shows all shape defining parts with specification of the required quantity. You should add reinforcement, lining, facing or decoration according to the requirements of material or your wishes.

Enjoy Sewing!

Sewing requires practise and experience. Always recommendable: Sew a sample of cheap material.

But also beginner will be successful with some patience and a good book showing the basic sewing techniques.

Material und Cutting

Historical or modern design possible, also suitable as a maternity dress.

Historically lightweight, transparent, often light natural fibres were used as the material for the Empire dress. The dress was to the floor, often with a train and fastened at the back on the underbust band and in the back section.

All suitable, beautifully falling materials can be used for today's applications, depending on personal taste. Colourful or structural combinations on the bust section and on the optional front skirt insert (see sample photos) may have an interesting and individual effect.

Note: Should the dress not be to the floor / designed with a train, paper and sticking work can be saved by printing out only the corresponding first pages based on the pattern plan.

  • Bust middle part 1x to fabric fold
  • Top front side part 2x
  • Top back side part 2x
  • Top back middle part 1x to fabric fold
  • Underbust strap 1x double length
  • Sleeve strap 1x double length
  • Sleeve 2x
  • Skirt front part 1x to fabric fold
  • Skirt back part 1x to fabric fold

Also required: The side and back sections of the top can be reinforced, if necessary.

Gathered band and narrow elastic hem to the bust section

Bands as fastening for the underbust strap and the back or a zip fastener in the back


Reinforce the upper sections, if necessary. In lining as in the turquoise sample piece (turquoise webbing on a white base material), sew the respective sections together.

Gather the bust section and sleeves.

Tack the top section all the way around and try on. Mark the exact position of the back fastening. Stitch the seams, if everything is fitting as it should.

Work the underbust strap (as a drawstring for subsequent waistband fastening).

Try on, mark the exact position required for the underbust strap and tack the top behind the strap. Stitch the top behind the underbust strap.

Working the sleeve: Sew the side seam of the sleeve, with right sides together. Sew the sleeve strap in the exact length required and attach to the sleeve. Sew the sleeve, with right sides together, into the armholes, turn over and stitch.

Sew the skirt together. If a front skirt insert has been tailored, place this between the front sections and stitch. Sew the skirt front and back section together.

Gather the skirt as required or lay in folds and tack behind the underbust strap.

Try on. When fitting correctly, mark the exact hem length required.

Stitch the skirt behind the underbust strap.

Work the skirt hem.



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