Mid 1780s Plum Satin Gown

A mid 1780s Italian gown made from plum silk satin.


Inspiration & Resources

Useful Books & Links Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion: English Women's Dresses and Their Construction, c.1660-1860. New York: Drama Book, 1984.

Bradfield, Nancy. Costume In Detail: Women's Dress 1730-1930. Plays, Inc., 1985.

Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Women's Clothes. New York: Routledge, 1968.

My Pinterest Project Board
Pattern For patterning and construction, I mainly referenced the 1780-1790 gown on pages 42-43 of Patterns of Fashion 1, and Diagram XXII of the Robe a l' Anglaise gown in The Cut of Women’s Clothes. I also spent A LOT of time staring at extant dresses to get a good understanding of the construction and placement for the back seams, shoulder seams, sleeves, etc., and altered my existing 18th century block pattern to reflect these lines.

Related Blog Posts

1780s Plum Satan Gown

1780s Plum Satan Gown

No, that’s not a typo, this project really was that awful. Ever have a project where you love the fabric so much, and are just so excited to work with it, but then it all just goes to hell? Yeah… I won’t recount every painful detail of how this dress fought me, but there were three different bodice iterations, I redid every seam multiple times, and I still ended up with something I’m not thrilled with. Silk satin is beautiful and gorgeous and evil. But enough whining, on to construction!