Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me!


There comes a time when all business sewing needs to take a pause, and personal sewing needs to take over.

You see, I don’t often sew for myself.

I think the last time I created a gown just for me was at least a year ago.  Most of the time, whenever I sew it is either for a client or to sell on my shop.  But with a little more free time on my hands (thanks to longer naps by my little one), I wanted to try something new and different. …something for me! 🙂

After thinking about what I wished to create, I decided on an outfit to wear at next year’s French and Indian War Reenactment…in July.  The tricky part about making a gown to wear in the summer while it is still winter is the fear that I am going to sweat like crazy!  More about that later!

So, as always, whenever I begin a brand new decade or project apart from the norm, I begin with an inspiration board.  This is where I gather images of actual gowns, paintings, or pieces of a gown I want to try and incorporate.  The problem with this particular gown is I wanted to include WAAAAY to many aspects and techniques, so I had to really cut down.

Here is the inspiration board of this particular project:

I decided on a short – ish jacket (around upper thigh length), a petticoat (with a hole to include a side pocket), and a slew of trims and details…of which only a few I think will make it to the gown.

I took pattern inspiration from Janet Arnold’s Pattern of Fashion book and began mocking up the bodice of the jacket.  Notice the sharp line of the neckline of the bodice over the soon to be stomacher.

Side view showing the bum roll I plan to also wear.

Once I was happy with the basic look, I cut out the lining and main fabric pieces.

Then, I stitched felt to the lining along the”skirt” portion of the jacket and along the front.

This is the part that makes me nervous.  Sure the felt creates a very crisp, stiff look…but will I be sweating up a storm?  Only time will tell!


I then stitch all the jacket pieces together, lined it, put in the sleeves, and began trying to figure out how I was going to close the thing!

I decided it would be different to lace it up the front with buttons…so I covered some metal shank buttons I had on hand and stitched them to the bottom portion of the jacket at the waist.


And this was where things began to go terribly wrong.  

The buttons are just not strong enough to hold the lacing tight and secure.  The lacing just pops right off.  If any of you have any ideas of what I am doing wrong, please let me know!  Otherwise I may just have to stick with pinning it to the stomacher….

So here is where Part One ends.  I hope to put out Part Two next week, as I continue working on the petticoat, stomacher, and the trim of the jacket.  Overall this has been such a fun project and challenge!!!
Have a wonderful day everyone!!



6 thoughts on “Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me!

    • Well, you are suppose to wrap the lacing around the shank of the button (like the boots that have hooks instead of holes) and it should hold the lacing like a hook… except in my case the lacing just popped right off when I tried to tighten it! 🤪

  1. Tegan

    I think a lot of those jackets were pinned on in period, but I could be making things up. Or I could see internal lacings with decorative ones in front – I had an Italian Ren gown that had that.

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