Pink and Grey Anglaise

A 1780s pink and grey zone-front gown, sewn from silk taffeta. 


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.

Baumgarten, Linda. Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern 1750-1790. Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1999.

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

Construction Details


Four years ago I made a version of this gown, but I was never happy with the end result and not being one to waste silk taffeta, I kept it in the back of my mind that I would like to redo the outfit one day.

(The original version of this dress - 2008.)

Fast forward a few years and I was re-inspired to work on the dress. In March, when I made the pattern for my pink polonaise, I also created a basic 1780s bodice and cut out the pieces for this dress. I set it aside to work on after our trip to Europe, possibly for Costume College, but when I found I had nothing that fit for Dress U, I luckily remembered I had this waiting. It was quick and easy to sew up the bodice by machine, and I reused the skirt and sleeves from the original dress to save time (and fabric), as well as the grey petticoat. I didn't have enough grey silk left to make a new collar, so I trimmed the gown with some box pleated pinked strips of silk.

The finished dress ended up a little too big (I've lost more weight since I fit the pattern in March), so I may take in the bodice before I wear it again. I also would like to redo the sleeves at some point. Since these weren't drafted for this bodice pattern, they don't quite fit and they have some weird issues in the back sleeve cap. However, for 3 days of work I'm very pleased with how the dress came out.