October 1, 2014

1848 Ghost Walk: Planning

Last year I had the chance to participate in the Penfield Community Center's annual ghost walk and I had so much fun!  This year, I was asked back to be a ghost AND costume the other ghosts!  Our theme this year is spiritualism in upstate New York from 1840 to 1900!

Pam, the coordinator (and director of YOHP shows who I've worked for in the past), and I spent the afternoon catching up and putting together all of the costumes.  She let me do pretty much all of the deciding and we are both very happy with the results.  Our color scheme this year is white, black and dark jewel tones (reds, blues, purples).  All that's left now is her costume and my costume, which we both decided to take care of ourselves.

That being said, it's crunch time to pull together my 1848 Ghost Walk Costume!  I have only about two weeks to make this happen (with my internship & job taking up most of my time)...deep breaths and let the fun begin!

What I want to look like - lady on the right.
1848 Fashion Plate from Un Siecle De Modes Feminines.
(Source: https://archive.org/details/BookUnSiecleDeModesFeminines)

Undergarments:  I finally can get those 1850s undergarments underway!  
  • Stockings & Boots
  • Chemise
  • Drawers
  • 1850s corset
  • Bum pad or roll
  • Tucked Petticoat (I'll probably end up using some older petticoats as well, but, unfortunately, I don't think I'll have time to finish a corded petticoat :(

Dress: late 1840s, 1848 to be exact.

I found THE dress!  This c. 1845–49 dress from the Met:

Dress c. 1845-1849
(Source: http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/108084)

Close up of the bodice.
(Source: http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/108084)

 I just love the contrasting velvet and skirt treatment!  Though I'd probably ditch the sleeve ruffles...now the next question is materials...

Bright red questionable polyester satin(?) & dark red velvet.

Black cotton & velvet.

Question: Red like the original or black?  Or just make both...

Accessories: the fun part!
  • Bonnet - simple, yet tasteful with ribbon decoration.  Questions: Black or Cream?  Velvet or Satin?
Silk moire bonnet, c. 1845.
FIDM Museum & Galleries
(Source: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2010/07/index.html)

Bonnet, c. 1845.
Met Museum
(Source: http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/169951?rpp=20&pg=16&ft=bonnet&pos=313)

  • Reticule with tassels - cream or black to match the bonnet
1848 silk satin wedding bag trimmed with lace, with silk cord drawstring.
V&A Collection
(Source: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O251106/wedding-dress-unknown/)

  • Fur muff?
Fashion Plate c. 1848
(Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/404409241513104669/)

Alright, readers, please help me decide!!  Visit my 1848 Ghostwalk pinterest board for more inspiration.


  1. Gasp and away!! I adore that dress! I vote for make both! The bonnets are fabulous as well! Can't wait to see your completed items!! Yay!!!

    1. I agree, Gina, I'm seeing two 1840s dresses in my future...and accessories too! Well it's back to sewing for me - thanks for stopping by!
      Anneliese :)