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A Mid 1790s Habit Skirt

In my previous post, I shared the inspiration for my recent mid 1790s riding habit. Now, in the next few posts, I’m going to break down the outfit from the inside out, starting with the habit skirt.

The main construction reference was the habit in Patterns of Fashion. However, my skirt is much fuller to better represent the mid 1790s silhouette.  The skirt is attached to a small silk taffeta bodice that is lined in linen and closes in front with pins. I made the bodice larger than the extant habit skirt to better support the heavy full skirt.

The bodice lining was assembled on the machine and the silk later mouned on top. All the bodice edges are turned in and finished with a simple edge stitch.


The top of the skirt was turned over, tightly cartridge pleated, and then whipped to the bottom of the finished bodice, concentrating the fullness to the back and sides. A small section of the front of the skirt was left free and finished with a drawstring that opens with a small slit at the center front. There is a large linen pad attached to the inside of the of the skirt to help support the back of the skirt.

The skirt panels consist of a straight center back piece, two angled side panels, and another straight center front piece. You can see skirt shaping on a gown at in the DAR collection that is featured in An Agreeable Tyrant. Recently,  I’ve been construction a lot of my 1790s skirts like this, rather than just straight panels, and the shaping gives a really elegant sweep to the back of the skirt. I also added a narrow silk taffeta facing to the skirt sides and back hem, both to protect it and keep the train from bunching on itself when I walk. The long skirt seams were sewn on the machine but the rest of the skirt was finished by hand.

Posted: 7/22/2019 10:53:24 AM by Aubry | with comments
Filed under: 1790s, 1790s Riding Habit
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