Monday, August 5, 2019

A Late 1790s Bird Print Dress with a Diamond Back

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My late 1790s dress is based on examples of cotton print dresses, and a remodeled 18th century dress from An Agreeable Tyrant at the DAR Museum. It's made of a cotton print from Colonial Williamsburg, lined with linen from Burnley and Trowbridge, and worn over stays, shift, and strapped petticoat.

I made the dress for the Jane Austen Festival in Kentucky, and it was as comfortable as a dress can be there. The pictures here were taken by my friend (in much better weather!), whose photography Instagram, @journeyofaphotog, can be seen here.

Construction for the dress can be seen here

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The diamond back is the feature that drew me to this dress, even though it is mostly obscured by the pattern! The double drawstring was an interesting detail that I found on an original cotton print dress, and I like the added depth it gives to the front bodice.

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The way the dress works is typical of drawstring dresses. It's made over a fitted lining that pins shut.

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Then the drawstrings close over the fitted lining.

This is a very easy dress to wear, and it's nice that it's slightly adjustable--I've worn it over different stays each time I've worn it. The diamond back is one of my favorite styles as well, so I'm glad I finally made a dress with it!


  1. I am always so happy when I our scaled patterns in the Tyrant exhibit catalogue being made into garments, and this is so beautiful!—Alden O’Brien/DAR Museum

    1. Thank you! The patterns are fantastic--so detailed!

      And thank you for the tour as well--I was part of the group that came with Carolyn and Taylor that April.

  2. It looks so nice! I really love the double-drawstring detail.

    1. Thank you! I was happy to find that detail. Just something a little different :)

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  4. You describe everything well on your blog. Your post contains a lot of useful information for me. Thank you very much for that.
    Print the pattern on the fabric


  5. I really enjoyed this post! The insights are really helpful and informative.
    The dress itself is very comfortable and easy to wear.

    These are so pretty! This dress is absolutely gorgeous!

    This dress is really high quality compared to a lot of the very similar style dresses out there.

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    This dress was absolutely beautiful!! It was well made.

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