Here is the image of the fabric from http://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/
The color is "sterling grey".
Here is the fashion plate that I found in my e-mail this morning from the Ladies Of The 1860s blog. I subscribe to the blog :) It's really fun to find this stuff in your email!!
The image is from La Mode Illustree, Sept 1862 and is probably of silk. It's hard to tell from the image but it could be of wool. It looks to be box pleated and a very simple style. The purple would add a new color to my wardrobe and I could always use a new bonnet...I already have lavender paper china asters (flowers)... This is a very likely candidate for the fabric. Now to find lavender silk for the shawl and matching wool for the trim.
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9/6 Update - found some violet silk from fabricmart.com:
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10/16/2012 Update - With cold weather upon us, it has become clear to me that a new dress is not needed (as I am still in the process of making my tan and burgundy wool dress). However, a nice warm paletote has been added to my sewing list.
In my sewing room there is a yard of midnight blue wool that I think it would make lovely trim and perhaps a nice quilted hood. There was also a yard of dark blue silk organza that could be used as well if I find some inspiration for it.......
Here is the idea for my sterling grey paletot with midnight blue wool trim:
5/30/2013 Update - Well, this piece of sterling grey wool has not become a great dress or paletote for use in mid-century living history. Instead, this piece of fabric has moved from the past into the present and become a modern skirt and cape. You can see it (here) on my modern sewing blog.