Monday, October 15, 2018

1790s or Early Regency Apron-Front Gown

I finished this 1790s / Early Regency apron-front gown in the spring of 2016 as part of my Honor's thesis research in the social, cultural, and political influences on late 18th century fashion.

The gown, and its accompanying bodiced petticoat and chemise, were entirely sewn by hand to my best understanding of period techniques -- lots of whips stitching and flat felling! The gown and bodiced petticoat (which might get its own post) were self-drafted with assistance from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 3. They're both made from lightweight cotton lawn sewn with cotton thread.

Surprisingly, the train of this gown has survived three outings in NYC!!

Armhole bound with bias strip and detail of flat felled sleeve seam

How does the gown fasten?

  1. front flaps pinned together
  2. front gathering closed with ties at top and bottom of gathering
  3. apron front is hiked up, apron ties are looped through fabric loops at back of dress and brought back to the front of the dress
  4. apron ties are concealed under the apron front and securely tied
  5. pins secure apron front to gathered panel

The chemise is also made of cotton and handsewn according to the Sense & Sensibility pattern. You can read more about my construction of the chemise here. This chemise has become my go-to pajamas and has survived many cycles through the washing machine! That's a testament to the strength of the almighty whip stitch!

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