I bought this hand block printed cotton on Ebay some years ago after I fell in love with the colors! As I had a lot of gigs this year that were 1790’s, I decided it was a good year to make this up. The fabric has a border along one side so I incorporated that into the hem and the sleeves. I used the JP Ryan English Nightgown pattern for the bodice. I altered the pattern to end slightly above the natural waistline. The gathered front panel is applied on top of the bodice and closes with a drawstring at the neckline and waist. What would be the normal front of a late 18th century gown pins closed under the gathered section to keep the bodice tight.
The sleeves are from the Chemise a la Reine pattern from Laughing Moon Mercantile. I wanted long straight 1790’s sleeves but using a one piece split sleeve pattern would make it impossible to use the printed border at the wrists, so I adapted the 2 piece sleeve instead.
For this first time out the dress is accessorized with a vintage green taffeta ribbon sash. The ribbon is too fragile to tie and untie so it is sewn with a separate band, bow, and streamers, and pins closed at the waist.