The 1790s Dress, Part Three


Also known as ruffles, the blog post. I’ve been sick on and off all week (I’m allergic to autumn, and guess what’s right around the corner!), but I did manage to finish up my 1790s underdress, even though I was a bit slower than usual. Parts one and two can be found here and here.


I started out with a very simple rectangular top, and made the straps extra long so I could adjust them to the exact right height as needed. I also gave it some extra wiggle room so it wouldn’t need to have any closures that would create bulk.


Next came the skirt, which was made of three large rectangles sewn together (about 4 yards of fabric). I left the skirt too short, to leave room for a ruffle at the bottom. I gathered down the 4 yard rectangle and attached it to the top.


Next, I made an 8 yard strip of fabric that would act as the skirt ruffle. This fabric wrinkles when I look at it funny, so first the entire thing had to be ironed and steamed.


I sewed two rows of gathering threads, and gathered the  yards down to four.


Finally it got attached to the skirt!


I was very tempted just to leave it at this point, honestly. No one was going to see the sleeves, and there are a few extant examples of sleeveless chemises from about a decade later. However, my conscience got the better of me, and I made a basic sleeve pattern.


I cut out two and attached it to the bodice.


And then it was done! The next step is going to be a pretty hat to cover up my short, not-very-accurate hair. It might not be the most 100% accurate hat, but it’s certainly going to be better than the chin-length hair I have!


Thanks for reading,



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