As a result of the shocking events of the French Revolution, clothing trends become less aristocratic and more practical. Around 1799, as Napoleon rose to power, he rejected all customs associated with the old regimes. He hoped that France would, once again, become a fashion leader and halted the import of British textiles and revived French lace making. Women were forbidden to appear at court in the same dress more than twice and he encouraged a return to simplicity and the silhouettes displayed on the statues of ancient Greece and Rome. Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine, was a fashion icon and a trendsetter that completely upended the standards of fashion and ushered in the styles that would define what became known as the Empire Period in France, the Regency Period in Britain, and the Federalist Period in the United States from about 1799 - 1820.
The Grecian Renaissance dress is based on a dress worn in a painting of the young Félicité Louise Julie Constance de Durfort that dates back to 1808. It is a simple empire waisted dress that is made from a lightweight sheer fabric for an almost ethereal look. To give it a little weight (and modesty) it is worn over a plain underdress that can be made in a matching or contrasting color. The dress is ankle length, so it can show off one’s pretty shoes and is edged at the bottom with two rows of ribbon that match the ribbon tie at the waistline. The Grecian style draped neckline is finished with a simple geometric embroidered edge. Short puffed sleeves and heavy gathers in back of the skirting give the otherwise understated silhouette a little added shape. Two small snaps in the back are used to fasten both the dress and underdress. As a finishing touch, instructions for a fringed shawl are included in the pattern.
This PDF sewing pattern by Thimbles and Acorns is designed to fit 18 inch dolls such as Doll of a Kind® and American Girl®.
Thimbles and Acorns Pattern #1800-02
Suggested Fabrics: Over Dress in sheer and other light weight fabrics such as chiffon, bridal net (not tulle), voile, lawn, batiste, gauze, or silk. Not suitable for stiff sheers such as organdy or knits. Under Dress in light weight fabrics such as voile, lawn, batiste, gauze, silk, or muslin. Not suitable for stiff sheers such as organdy or knits.
Skill Level: Intermediate
What You Get: One 28 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides full color step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.
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