18th Century Gown Ensemble

SLR_2_9927-004I am doing some serious catching up for Man The Capstan the last few days. I was recently asked if Man The Capstan is still active, and although we are not able to get together as often as we would like, the answer to that is a resounding yes! We have experienced a number of changes in our lives the past couple of years however, and unfortunately this blog has been sadly neglected as a result. Therefore, I will be continuing to add a number of posts, over the next few days and weeks in order to bring this blog up to date.SLR_2_9828-001

This post will focus on a lovely 18th century colonial gown ensemble that I created for a young lady in Virginia. It is modeled by our own Man The Capstan crew member, Katherine, who looks just beautiful in it! The pictures were taken by Dave on a beautiful spring day with our blooming cherry tree as a back drop.

2011_07_011This two piece gown, was made using a basic pattern, but with a number of alterations made to the design. I used a beautiful, medium to heavy weight cotton, in cream with various hues of gold and coral to red sprays of ivy leaves on it. I also used a coral sateen or polished cotton for the contrasting underskirt and the stomacher portion of the bodice. The bodice is also fully boned and lined; this adds great shaping, as well as stabilization to the form. This can be worn without a corset, which sure does add to the comfort of it. Antique style lace flounces at the sleeves and a beautiful ivory venise lace were used to trim up this gown. The result was quite nice. This gown laces up at the back with gold grommets and ivory satin ribbon.

2011_05_14_pm-001In order to make these gowns so that they will fit a variety of sizes, or to allow the wearer to continue to make use of the gown, even if she gains or loses weight,  a three inch modesty panel is installed at the back opening. I  also leave a part of the skirt, at the back seam, free from the waist, which then gathers and ties up with satin ribbon. This can then be adjusted, according to how tight the lacing is done up, and prevents unsightly gaping or bunching at the back waistline. The back is slightly trained. Katherine is wearing a hoop skirt with this gown but the skirt sides are actually slightly longer then the front to accommodate panniers.

SLR_2_9763-004Also included in this ensemble was a matching reticule, a small flat crowned straw hat decorated with the sateen cotton, ostrich feather ribbons and lace, and a pair of cream silk habotai bloomers, made in the traditional way.

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