Once one has studied Colonial Fashion, one realizes: a) every woman and girl is wearing basically the same thing, and b) variations on styles by region or country are just a matter of “tucks and pleats”.
The selection of fabric, design, style, and fit for this 2nd project for a hard working woman was simple. We wanted to:
- do something we had not done before and had not demonstrated nor shown in educational programs;
- use our very favorite fabric we had found while researching other projects; a fabric that everyone will look good in;
- make a summer gown with all the handmade frills and rills and flounces seen in extant garments to show off our skills and the unique trims of the era;
- suit the era and location of Baltimore 1772;
- suit the personality of a brave woman;
- use the patterns we had on hand and the materials left from other projects if possible to not have to buy more of anything with shipping costs and costs in general on the rise;
- complete some projects already “half done”;
- build something beautiful that the “Group 2” (taller and slim) Buffalo Gals models (of which there are 5) could all wear;
- demonstrate the flexibility in fit of Colonial garments;
- take our time making something gorgeous that would eventually sell on the market after retiring it from shows.
The answers to that were simple:
- We had never made a mantua or similar French gown. We’ve been making Robe a l’anglaise. Here are some favorite extant (real, in museums) garments from which we drew inspiration.
As for fabrics, we already had our eye on these historically accurate reproduction cotton prints and borders for some time:
And accessories we’ve been wanting to use for some time:
Trim including pleats, ruffles, and Kilting (HOURS of handmade) like we did on the Hurlbutt project:
And of course we’ve got to find the HAIR since our models all have short hair now:
We also found these period reproduction stockings (and might make garters like we did for the Anderson project) and these brand new gorgeous leather reproduction shoes to complete the project.