This summer I took up Civil War reenacting, more specifically as a cook in a traveling civilian tavern. My gown has some history, even if it's only fiction. I took a 1840's wrapper gown (my fictional mother's) and updated it to my more modern 1860s lifestyle. There is much evidence of dresses being taken apart and put back together in a more fashionable way to change with the times. The dress would have been taken apart, refit, and new accents added.
Here, the dark orange fabric shows off the 1860s wrapper influence, while the lighter orange was altered very little to keep it's 1840s wrapper appearance. The skirt is sewn shut from foot to waist, the bodice is open, the boned belt closes with hooks and eyes and hides the hand pleating of the loose front fabric. It would not have been considered the most fashionable gown to most women, but it makes a old working gown a little bit more modern for the times.
Also before you comment about my hair, I had scarlet fever (or lice, your choice). In reality, I had no plans on taking up an era of reenacting where my hair would not be closely covered with a cap, it just kind of happened, and cooking over an open fire did not lend kindly to wearing a wig.