18th century ball gown in silk taffeta, embroidered with sage green wines and leaves in silk thread. This is one of my latest projects I have been working on, and I wanted to post it here as part dress-diary and part inspiration for those of you that also like the 18th century!
I made this 18th-century gown for a fancy dress ball that never happened, but I am sure we will have the opportunity to go have fun together in the future! The gown is based on 1750-1760 fashion and pattern construction and is decorated with fabric ruffles and gold ribbons. Underneath I wear a skirt in the same fabric.
When I found this fabric in a sale I fell in love and wanted to make a gown with it, and keep the decor simple to let the fabric shine. The embroidery is not a reproduction but similar to other embroidered dresses from this period, so I let that decide the decade from which to get my inspiration.
The model is an English gown with the back bodice flowing into the skirt without a dividing waist seam. I based the sleeve pattern on my previous dress sleeves but remade it a bit to get the seam to angle the same way as the gowns I based the dress on.
I like handsewing a lot, but I wanted to see how I could make this kind of gown on a sewing machine to be able to cut down on production time (not all my customers wants to have handsewn garments) so the whole gown is actually lined and put together on my sewing machine. The finishing touches like hemming, decor and back seams are sewn by hand. It turned out neat, though it is a bit more complicated to make the fit perfect when I had to make all seams from the inside instead of sewing them as I fitted the dress on the body form.
Along with the gown I wear a skirt in the same fabric, and underneath a linen shift, corset, cotton skirt and side hoops. A silk fichu around my neck was needed to add warmth, and a fashionable hat for outdoor strolling.