Tuesday, July 7, 2015

18th Century Shortgown

I finally finished the shortgown I was working on over the weekend. It was a lot of handsewing compared to what I am accustomed to but I'm pleased with how it came out. It is a very simple but clever garment.

The shape is very simple. It's basically a T-shape with the sleeves cut as one with (or pieced on to) the body. There is no shoulder seam and the skirts are cut with a flare or have pieced on gores to add width to the hem. 
eeep! sorry my toes made an appearance in the photo. 

It is clever in how it is fit to the body with pleating at the back. This can fit nicely to the body and leaves the shoulders and arms with a lot of room for movement, which is ideal for working impressions. Love!

I made this one in striped cotton. It is unlined so all the seams had to be finished by hand, which is why it took me longer than I thought it would to finish it. It has no closures but can fasten with pins. Or, I could have added ties to it. Pins are easier though. ;) 

From what I understand these garments were worn as casual wear for "at home" times by ladies or as a practical alternative to the more fitted gown for ladies who had to perform physical labor. Since I ultimately compare everything to the 1860's, this strikes me as a early version of the 60's sacque and petticoat type of outfit, which were also more loosely fitted and worn for at home or working scenarios. 

This one is available in my etsy shop. My dressform shape isn't right for the 18th century period but here is a general idea of how it will look when worn: