Saturday, January 23, 2016

Two Silky Winter Projects

I has silk!!! Mawhahahaha! One of my New Year's resolutions last year was to sew one thing that's truly amazing. Of course this meant breaking resolutions 1 and 2, not buying new fabric and sewing practical things. But last fall proved a surprisingly successful month for Etsy sales so I decided to treat myself.

I've been itching to make a new 18th century silk gown for a while now and really wanted to try the new "fashionable" gown pattern by Smith and Larkin. Searching for an ideal striped silk was a challenge and I had almost given up until I found this amazing silk from Duchess Trading on Etsy. It's perfect!! A touch more pink then it looked online but still very nice. And because I was a returning costumer I was able to get a small discount, always a plus! I even picked up a few silk ribbons! If you are searching for vintage ribbons, flowers, lace etc. for your next project I highly recommend Duchess Trading. Shipping is fast and the owner is fantastic to work with! :)

I've made two 18th century silk gowns but both were solid colors (ivory and green) and I felt it was time to do something a little different. The fashionable gown pattern by S&L is ideal for narrow stripes so stripes it will be!! I should have enough for a matching petticoat too, though I might have to piece the back section with a different fabric.

While searching for silk stripes I was bad an also bought this AMAZING silk plaid! Along with patterns and kits, Smith and Larkin offers a nice selection of fabrics. Go check them out!!

Referred to as "cross barred" in the 18th century, my plan is to use this plaid silk for a 1760s sacque gown. There are many beautiful extent plaid gowns in museums and other places around the web. Not only that, but take a look at this nearly identical silk pictured in Selling Silks: A Merchant's Sample Book 1764 by Lesley Ellis Miller. I will be posted a full review of this book sometime this winter! (You can view the original book here.)

I was only able to purchase 6 yards which will, just barely, be enough for the gown. But I believe that either the ivory or green silk petticoats from my other two gowns will work nicely with this silk plaid. So, now I need to look through my stash to see what I have for linen that will work for lining the bodice of each gown. Oh and silk thread too..... Other then that I should have everything I need to get started!

I plan to take my time with each of these gowns. I don't have any specific events coming up to wear them to so there is no need to rush. I'm not even going to set a deadline for having them finished. There are a few projects that will have deadlines this year so it will be nice to have something relaxing and fun to work on in between my other sewing madness. Honestly, if I have one close to finished by the end of the year I will be happy. Details, details, details!! That's what these gowns will be about. So, you can expect a few blog posts on each of them as I work. )

What sewing projects do you have going this winter?


  1. Gorgeous fabrics! I can't wait to see the gowns, each sounds equally beautiful. I have yet to create a full silk gown myself, but it's certainly a dream!

  2. What beautiful fabrics, I'm really looking forward to seeing what you make from them.

  3. Hooray for plaid!! That is really lovely fabric! I am also working on 18th century stuff this winter, in preparation for an event in May. I'm going with a solid fabric because I got a good deal, but some of those extant plaid gowns are insanely lovely. Can't wait to see yours :)


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