Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tailor's Guide 1750-1785 Gown or Short Gown pattern

I have been wanting to make an 18th century gown with a stomacher for awhile. One that is not a sacque back, enfourreau back or a Big 4 pattern. I decided to go with the The Tailor's Guide 18th century gown pattern. I like the end product very much and will definitely use this to make a simpler dress of linen or heavy cotton. Tailor's Guide says this pattern is meant for reenactors with modern proportions. I don't know if that means "not wearing stays".

The pattern comes in sizes XS-XL. The instructions are printed on one big sheet of paper. Similar to Big 4 patterns. I made a muslin of the XL and it was too big everywhere. I measure approx 43-37-43 in stays. I went down to the size L and also made a muslin. The fit was much better. Plus with a stomacher I have room to play with the size.


I removed the small dart on the back neckline. It is kind of a strange little dart and it didn't really do anything for the fit.

I made the angled front bodice dart 1/2 inch bigger (added 1/4 on each side). This dart is very close to the front opening and is hidden by the trim.  I was being cautious about waist size, even with the stomacher.

I used my stomacher pattern piece from my JP Ryan Caraco pattern. It was handy and I like the size of it.

The sleeves run VERY tight. I have average middle aged lady arms and they were too tight on me. Make a muslin first to check. Glad I did. I enlarged the sleeve about 1 inch in width.

I did not make this a front lacing gown. The stomacher is sewn to one side of the bodice and pinned to the other.


Not too difficult. Their pleating of the skirt is very involved (math). However, what I didn't have to do is re-pleat any parts of the skirt while attaching it. The skirt is VERY full and takes almost twice the fabric as the JP Ryan English Nightgown. It is beautiful though! The directions tell you how much length to add to the skirt so it drapes properly over hip pads (included in pattern). I am wearing mine over panniers so I measured the pannier drop on my dress form and added the 6 inches as instructed. Do not skimp on this part or your dress will be too short. The sleeves set in perfectly with a bit of pleating. There are no real directions for adding trim. Just look at examples and have fun!

Final say:

I love this dress and will use the pattern again. I think this is an intermediate level pattern. For a confident beginner I suggest JP Ryan's English Nightgown. The yardage they ask for is very spot on. I had nothing but scraps left.

Martha and George!

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