I’m pretty sure the last time I sewed anything 18th century was in 2010. I made this dress, which was one of my favorites. Since then, though, my sewing has focused largely on 1860s and 1812. Well, not anymore! Ever since the Larkin & Smith 18th Century English Gown pattern was released, I’ve wanted to try it. I really like the style but never felt quite up to draping something like that on myself. I posted (well…gushed) about how great the pattern is in my last blog post, and now I can finally share photos of the finished product!
The gown is made of a lovely deep blue worsted wool suiting that I got for a song from Fabric Mart Fabrics. As recommended in the pattern instructions, it is lined with medium weight linen (B&T) and sewn with silk and cotton threads.
I chose the fabric on the highly scientific criteria of “what do I have in my stash with enough yardage for a gown and petticoat that won’t make me sad if I totally mess it up?” It turned out that I didn’t need to worry! I honestly don’t think I could be any happier with my first time trying a new style and I can’t wait to expand my wardrobe!
It turns out that was a good criteria because there are definitely things that I will change the next time I use this pattern. Don't get me wrong--I love the finished product and the pattern is great. The failings are entirely mine, namely my job done in fitting the initial muslin. The lining, which I used for fitting, fit GREAT over my stays...without petticoats. D'oh! It's a total rookie mistake, I know, but I fit my muslin over stays and a chemise, but no petticoats. So, when I put the finished dress on over two wool pettis, even though they are lovely and lightweight, the extra bulk threw off the fit of the bodice. I am in an endless quest for a smoothly-fitted bodice with no wrinkles, so obviously this has a ways to go. But all in all I'm very happy with it!
|Pay no attention to all the cat hair. It adds character.|