India Cotton Short Gown

December 2011 – February 2012

This short gown costume was made simply because I found a four yard length of half-off India cotton. Apron and skirt are linen, 3.5oz and 4.3oz – both from It’s accessorized with a batiste neckerchief, Fugawee shoes, and a round-eared cap, which has it’s own page under 18th century accessories.
This is my second version of the outfit. The first was in pastel colors (yellow and blue), which I don’t really wear. But these outfits can be adjusted to fit a range of sizes. So now I’m set with a loaner costume. Patterns are from JP Ryan’s “Basic Six Piece Wardrobe” with some very minor changes. The short gown was lined, and the neckline bound with narrow tape. A shortgown in Fitting & Proper is finished with a straight strip of 1/4″ binding but mine was cut on the bias. I followed this method at Fashionable Frolick for the skirt. My skirt is only 90″ wide. But the woman’s skirt on p. 43 of Costume Close Up, convinced me that this was a decent width for a working class outfit.

Short gown

Everything underneath is less historical. I made the petticoat in cotton broadcloth because it has enough body to fill out the skirt. My very small bumpad was a makeshift experiment. The stays I’m wearing are a corset I use for fittings, made about three years ago, which you can read about on the 18th century underthings page. I haven’t gotten around to making the real deal yet. So, lots of little things still to do.