A Tale of Two Gowns

It’s wonderful when I get a chance to reuse a pattern- but even better when the results look so wildly different!

Both of these gowns were made with the J.P. Ryan “Robe à l’Anglaise or English Nightgown” as well as their pattern for pocket hoops (patterns found here).

The Yellow Gown

I made the yellow gown in 2017 for a party and it was the first time I had worked with 100% silk. It was a beautiful silk taffeta from RenaissanceFabrics- the underskirt was also silk taffeta with a pleated organza decoration at the bottom.

It was inspired by a variety of sources, including extant garments as well as fashion plates.

(1. Plate from the Galerie des modes et costumes francais from 1778-87, 2. “Blind Man’s Buff And The Players” by Antoine Pesne, 3. Portrait of a lady, said to be Marie-Madeleine Guimard by Jean-Frédéric Schall)

An extant gown that inspired me: Robe à l’anglaise from Gemeentemuseum Den Haag seen here

The finished gown has held up great over time and I love wearing it!


The Chintz Anglaise

The second dress was inspired by less formal chintz gowns. These were good for day-wear and were often made of beautiful, breathable cottons.

Inspiration gown links:

1. 1780’s-90’s Robe à l’Anglaise from the Met collections

2. Robe à l’Anglaise with printed dress from the Europeana collections

3. A Woman’s Gown from the Victorian & Albert museum collections

I knew I wanted a solid color petticoat to go with the material I had chosen so I pulled a sturdy red linen to pair with it.

When I was studying my reference images I noticed that the petticoats tended to be a little raised off the ground. I attempted to replicate this… but erred in not accounting for high-heeled shoes.

The petticoat was ultimately too short for the style I was going for, so I added an emergency ruffle to the bottom for length.


Ultimately I ended up liking it more with the ruffle, so it was a happy accident!

This chintz dress definitely still needs more accessories though- I’m thinking a cap and some kind of kerchief are in the future.


Bonus Silliness:

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