Bedgown for an Invalid in Godey’s Lady’s Book

Throughout the Civil War the publisher and editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book avoided reporting on the conflict and avoided taking sides. As a result, the magazine became something of an oasis away from the war for its readers. Although they never addressed the conflict and the casualties, this sewing pattern and instructions from July 1862 may provide a sideways hint that all was not well in the United States.

This dress is intended to be worn by those who are so ill that the necessary change of clothes is attended with pain and difficulty. It is in two entirely detached pieces, united on the shoulders by buttons, and at the sides by strings. They can be made very much ornamented or entirely plain, and of any material.

Bedgown for an Invalid in Godey's Lady's Book

Bedgown for an Invalid in Godey’s Lady’s Book

Cut the two pieces exactly alike, only sloping the front neck a little lower than the back. Hem the straight part of the sleeve with a hem of sufficient width to bear the buttonholes and buttons. Face the sides with tape, and at regular intervals attach strings extending nearly to the bottom. Put the buttonholes on the front of the dress, and also the trimming, if any is used.

The size of the nightdress must of course be adapted to the wearer.

In severe illness the patient’s dress can be changed without any effort on their part, or if absolutely necessary, the front alone can be changed. It is better, therefore, to have several exactly fitting each other.


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: July, 1862
Title: Bedgown For Invalids
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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