1840s Evening Gown – Hartlebury Castle Trust

The Trust approached me to create a costume based on the description of the gown worn by one of the ladies of the family when she was a debutante as a costume to be worn by volunteers, or put on display and commented on during tours. Descriped simply as white, covering in net, there wasn’t a lot of information to go on!

I created a white linen chemise, a white coutil corset with pink trim, a boned bodice with a front fastening (unusual for the period but an original example was found for be to base the design) so the wearer can dress themselves and a double layered skirt featuring a green silk underlayer and a ruched cream satin with net overlay top layer. Having the green underskirt meant that the cream was kept from the floor where it could have got caught or attract dirt. To give the skirt shape, a horsehair petticoat and cotton petticoat were created. By having drawstring waist on the petticoats, lacing on the corset, multiple hooks on the waistband of the skirt and lacing at the back of the bodice, there was flexibility in the size allowing more volunteers to use it.