Half Scale 1660s Historical Reproduction


The purpose of this project was to develop a half scale reproduction of a women’s gown from the 1660’s to use as a learning tool for the costume history course offered at our University.  The students in the class are required to be able to identify and date pieces from the collection as part of assignments in the course. There is a shortage of extant pieces from the 17th century in the collection and the half scale reproduction would supplement the few existing pieces in the collection.  The half scale garment was reproduced with historical sewing techniques and (when appropriate) period accurate materials. Small changes to the construction of the garment were made to make conservation of the piece simpler and to keep the cost of the project down (i.e. omitting layers of paper in the bodice, choosing an outer fabric of polyester instead of silk, and plastic zip ties instead of whale bone). The design and construction were informed by photographs of extant pieces in the V&A museum and from the Fashion Museum in Bath, England, contemporary texts detailing 17th century garment construction, and paintings from the time period. Chemise: 100% linen. Dress: 100% polyester. Lining : 100% linen

I have extensive information about the research and creation of this garment in the blog section of this website