Last week’s Rate the Dress was inspired by the first Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge: a 1710s portrait of Frances Howard as the goddess Flora. Many of you loved the colours of the outfit, but in general you weren’t convinced by the classical inspiration, and you really weren’t convinced by her crazy over-the-top shoe bows, bringing the rating down to a 6.9 out of 10.
The next challenge in the Historical Sew Fortnightly is UFO (un-finished-object) – the perfect excuse to finish one of those things sitting on your to-do pile.
Showing you an unfinished dress for Rate the Dress probably wouldn’t be very exciting for you, but I did find this ca. 1842 evening gown from the Met which has been re-made from an 18th century gown. The fabric dates to the 1740s.
It’s quite amazing and wonderful that fabric could be so well made that it could be sewn and worn as a garment, and then re-sewn and worn again as another garment 100 years later. And now, almost 175 years later, it’s in a museum and looks to still be in excellent condition. It’s a lovely reminder that a project may be finished, but it can be un-finished and remade again.
In addition to the 18th century fabric, the design of the gown gives a slight nod to the 18th century, with a false front and false petticoat which give a nod to stomachers and petticoats, both with 18th century inspired trim.
What do you think? Was the fabric worth re-using? Does the dress do the fabric justice? And are the 18th century influences an elegant addition, or a bad pastiche?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10