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!
Source: koshka the cat

A Late 1790s Bird Print Dress with a Diamond Back