Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Finished Gown - Purple and White

Hello all,
As promised, here are some pictures of my finished gown. The gown made it's debut at the Rebels and Redcoats event at Old Sturbridge Village over the weekend. This gown has been on my project list, half finished, for about a year and a half. The fabric was purchased from William Booth Draper back in March of 2012. I've posted on occasion about this gown. You can read all of these posts here. The two posts people might find the most interested are my research post on purple and white fabrics in the 18th century and the one showing a painting of a gown with a similar print.

The back view. I spent a lot of time playing with the fabric until I was happy with the arrangement of the back pleats. I didn't want the floral design to look too chopped up. Back pleats are much easier with stripes and solids for sure! The flowers didn't match up perfectly but I didn't really expect them too. The floral design on the robings and stomacher match up pretty well so I'm happy about that. :)

And the front. Closed front gowns begin to appear in the 1770s but there is some debate as to when exactly. There is an interesting article on the subject here. Personally, I like the look of the open or stomacher front gowns so that is what I decided to make. They are versatile and work for a range of dates from the 1740s to 1770s. Of course the width of the back pleats, cuff size, and other details change. I still need to add cuffs to this gown.

I wore my new gown with a semi-shear cotton apron and matching neckerchief. They are both very white, making the gown seem off white in comparison. My black silk bonnet was made for me by the wonderful Hallie Larkin of At the Sign of the Golden Scissors. Hallie makes custom bonnets but also has a pattern available for making your own. You can find her shop here.

And finally, I picture of Rebecca and I together lol! Rebecca was wearing a lovely red and white gown of her own creation. I believe she is working on a blog post about it. Rebecca and her sister Ashley co-write A Fashionable Frolick. These are two of the lovely ladies I met during the first part of my 18th century shoemaking adventures. Ashley was not able to make it to OSV this year. Hopefully the next time we meet we can get a photo of the three of us. :) Check out A Fashionable Frolick out for a great selection of photos of OSV.

Photo from Rebecca of A Fashionable Frolick
Rebecca also sent me the link for this photo. I took part in a fashion show called the Runaway Runway hosted by the Ladies of Refined Taste. A group of us posed as runaway servants to help show case the clothing of working-class people of the 1770s using descriptions from 1770s runaway advertisements. Cori also took part in the show. Part of his "character" required the application of a "proper hair mole." Ewww!

Attaching the mole. Photo by Irina Huynh
Photo by Irina Huynh


  1. This gown is even prettier in person! It came out so, so lovely, and I agree - the print is very well-suited to the stomacher front.

    That hairy mole was hilarious and certainly won't be forgotten in a hurry! It's a good thing he gave it back, or else you might have encountered it next walking down the aisle... ;-)

    Lovely seeing you both last weekend! :-)

  2. Your gown is so beautiful. I hope that you can also post some detailed up close shots of the fabric and stitching. Just lovely! I am sure a true labor of love.

  3. Thank you ladies!

    Rebecca, yes so happy the "hair mole" went away! lol!


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