Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Polonaise from 1780

I just finished a 1780's polonaise. It's very loosely based off of this one, from the V&A:

I like how the skirt is pulled up over the outside of the skirt. Also how there is trim along the skirts hem. I like the pinked ruffle on this petticoat from the Met.

I found some lovely silk and linen blend in L.A's garment district the last time I was there. It's embriodered in a tambor-ish style. I also found some not very slubby dupioni silk to make the petticoat. I had 20 yards of embriodered lace trim to use along the skirts hem and to trim the bodice. So it was easy enough to make this little polonaise. I used J.P. Ryan's anglaise pattern.

Here is the finished dress:

The bodice closes with pins.

To make this pinked and flounce petticoat I made myself a jig, used pinking shears to do the cutting and brushed the raw edges with Fray Block.


  1. That is so beautiful, and feminine! I love your fabric choices. The details really make all the difference!

  2. Put a little whipped cream and a cherry on it, and I could just eat it up. Gorgeous!

  3. I love the colours and the fabric choises!

  4. I love it! Congratulations. I just discovered your site as I'm off to buy the material to make my own polonaise for a series of author/costume talks I'm doing around Melbourne as my books are set during the late 1700s and early 1800s.

    Thank you!

    1. How fun! I've always wanted to write a book... one day. :)