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- | 1780s Gown

1780s Gown

I’m hoping to get this 1780’s gown done for the Evening at the Petit Trianon event up in NorCal July 9th!

I started this gown in May 2010 at Burnley and Trowbridge’s class, so I’d really like to get it done for this event and for Costume College! I just need to finish the petticoat, trim it, and make accessories.  My previous two 18th century gowns have been from the earlier period, so I know even less about the 1780’s. What I’ve learned so far is that there was much less trim and frou-frou-ness on the gowns of this later period,… and there were much bigger hats. Some gowns weren’t trimmed at all which is a far cry from the trim-on-trim-on-trim of the earlier period.

I’d like to make a new set of half-bone stays… but I don’t think I have time. So I’ll leave off buttons for now and possibly refit this gown a bit later after I finish my new set of stays.

My fabric is a teal-magenta shot silk taffeta. This is how big a 20″ hat would be on my head.

After bugging my LJ friends, Kendra, Judy and Burnley and Trowbridge and obsessing over photos on the internet and my books for a while, I think this is what I’m going to do. (The only trouble is, I’m still torn between trimming with LACE and SELF-trimming. I think I’m going to go with self-trimming though (like in my drawing…) Hopefully I’m going in the right direction!

  • Big 20″ natural straw hat trimmed with light teal and magenta fabric bows and white fluffy feathers
  • Big fluffy teased-out wig with curled large ringlets down the back.
  • dress self-trimmed with a gathered-on-both-sides trim. Trimmed at collar, zone and sleeve ends. Trim similar to the blue-striped dress below.
  • self-ruffle somewhere on the petticoat
  • transparent white lace fichu/handkerchief.
  • pale blue sash/belt + large brooch.
  • white ribbon rose brooch at collar (ala The Duchess rust-colored drunken dress?)

Here’s some of my inspiration board below. (Thanks again to Kendra for sending me some of these!)

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Sort-of related, here’s a sketch I did of Marie-Laure from Kendra’s Vaux-le-Vicomte photo.


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