I've been going through some photos of my past projects. I've posted a few images of this 18th century gown before but I feel like I have not done it justice here on my blog. My first post about it back in 2012 shows a few construction pictures. Believe it or not, this was one of my very first 18th century gowns. I attempted one before using diagrams and notes from some well-known costuming books but the final result left much to be desired.
First wore for a little photo shoot in the fall of 2009. It was not 100% finished, the back neck facing was missing and it didn't have cuffs. But I really wanted to get some pictures of it. Please excuse the silly "doily" pinner cap on my head. I didn't have a proper cap at the time to wear with such a formal gown. Fortunately, I've since purchased "The Profligate" precut cap kit from Larkin and Smith. It will be perfect with this gown. I can't wait to have it finished and do another photo shoot.
For all the photos in the post the gown was worn over a linen shift, fully boned stays, pocket hoops, under petticoat and a matching silk petticoat.
These two photos were taken inside my parents house. The house was built sometime between 1790 and 1800. When removing some old wallpaper in the front hall, we discovered not only the original plaster wall but remains of some stenciling. Over the years my mom was able to recreate the stencils and repaint the wall. (Similar wall stencils can be seen in historic buildings at the Shelburne Museum and Historic Deerfield.)
The gown's first real debut was at my 18th century garden party the following summer. You'll notice the addition of the large wing cuffs that were common in the 1740s and into the 1750s.
Then in Williamsburg in 2010 with my ridiculous hair. And yes, that's all my real hair.
My friend Abby borrowed the gown for historic fashion show I organized for a local historical society. It was fun to see how the the gown looked on someone else. I still have plans to update this gown but as I don't have many opportunities to wear this or my ivory silk gown, that project has taken a back seat.