Wednesday, November 13, 2013

HSF Challenge #23: Gratitude


While finishing up this dress, I was super excited to realize this could count as an HSF challenge! I couldn't have gotten through the making of this dress without the great tutorials and pictures that others have put out there. This was my first 18th century gown so I had tons of questions and no pattern so I relied on what others put out there! 


Here I learned more about chintz fabric

William Booth Draper sells a blue chintz fabric here that has the same white background with floral blue print similar to my fabric.  They also cite, The Pennsylvania Gazette which said "Run away... a native of Ireland... has on, and took with her, one chints gown, stamped with blue."  The same site also sells patterns and says that printed cotton is an option for a robe a l'anglaise seen here. This helped reenforce that my fabric wasn't completely inaccurate.

Before I could start on the actual dress I had to make a basic bodice lining pattern and the pictures of her draped lining on Jenny La Fleur's Robe a l'Anglaise dress diary helped a ton! Not too mention her other 18th century projects I looked through just to get a better idea of how to make my dress.

After completing my lining I really followed much of the tutorial here from The Fashionable Past

As mentioned in a previous post, when I got completely stuck on my sleeves, this website and dress tutorial here gave me a sleeve pattern that got me back on track!

I'm sure there are even more links that I am missing because as this shows the first place I turn to when I'm stuck are the tutorials and even just pictures others have put up. Anytime I make a historical item I spend a ton of time researching by looking at examples others have made. I love this challenge because I really am so grateful for all the research and pictures others put up! It's why I always try to document mine because you never know what little picture, or way of wording something, will help someone else with their project!

The Challenge: Gratitude

Fabric: Blue and white cotton chintz, blue linen, cotton lining

Pattern: Robe a l'Anglaise self drafted

Year: late 18th century

Notions: cotton tape

Accuracy: It's pretty accurate, I've hand sewn the entire outfit including both petticoats and I think I got the shape down pretty well. It's only issue may be the fabric. While there was blue chintz on white, the pattern on my fabric is probably not the most accurate in terms of the design size. The blue linen petticoat is accurate.

Hours to complete: many

First worn: For pictures!

Cost:  I bought this fabric in the early summer so I don't remember that anymore and am calling it stash fabric. The linen I got from an old table cloth! So no money spent for this one!

This is my favorite 18th century outfit so far. I really love how it turned out with the blue linen petticoat. It's very simple and I'd like to go back and trim it one of these days. Besides some problems with the sleeves it went together pretty well and was a great step in learning to make 18th century gowns.

The matching petticoat!

For all previous posts of the making of this dress click here


  1. Your gown is very pretty! I especially like it with the blue petticoat.

    1. Thank you!! I almost didn't make the second petticoat with this fabric and I'm so glad I did!

  2. Wow, this is gorgeous! I like the two different petticoats to allow different looks.

    1. Thank you! That's my favorite part about it- being able to change it up!

  3. This is adorable! :) A Robe a L'Anglaise is on my list of dresses I want to make someday. I never would have guessed this was your first. Nice job!


    1. Thank you, that's so nice to hear! It was definitely made so much easier by all the great tutorials and pictures out there, otherwise on my own this dress would have been a mess! :)