Inspiration

Fabric: White cotton muslin, dark red silk sash
Pattern: Rocking Horse Farm Chemise Dress, modified

The Siege of San Juan 2008 was an absolute blast, but the women's clothing left much to be desired. The few women present dressed in what they had - largely 1770s. It's amazing how much fashion changed in 20 years. I had real trouble finding a pre-existing pattern for the late 1790s. The Regency is well represented, as is the 1770s because of reenacting, but the transitional period is not a popular one. I decided to see what period artwork had to say.

Décolleté: A Severed Head Gallery was of immense use. Through it, I found Joséphine Beauharnais as Venus by Andrea Appiani (1796). Her dress had the elements I wanted, so I set out to modify what I could find to make it happen.

Research: March 2009

Sketches found through various online searches from Journal des Dames from 1797.




March 2009

Fabric: White cotton muslin, dark red silk sash
Pattern: Rocking Horse Farm Chemise Dress, modified

I used a more fitted sleeve, pirated from the Anglaise I made for my mom back in December, and decided to use only one drawstring at the waist instead of the two outlined in the pattern. The result was a kind of hybrid that looks more or less in line with period sketches.

April 2009

Castillo de San Felipe del Morro
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Shots of a modified chemise dress with narrow sleeves for the late 1790s. Made of thin white cotton, this dress was meant to be comfortable in the scorching Caribbean heat for the reenactment of the British siege of San Juan. Next time, if there is a next time, I'll do a fitted back and drawstring neckline. The bound neckline didn't behave, and the unfitted back was too 1780s in my opinion. Additionally, a more traditional sash would look better than the hook and eye job on this one. For the next 1790s event we do, my mom's dress will have a few modifications, and one ridiculous, FABULOUS hat.