While searching through my stash of photos from Colonial Williamsburg, I found that I, too, had taken pictures of the early 19th. American gown (Regency-style in England, Republican-style in the U.S.) that Loretta wrote about earlier this week. We decided no one would complain about a few more details, so here they are.
The first shows the gown full length, held by its maker, CW mantua-maker Janea Whitacre. The next shows the lower hem, and also the slight train of the longer back hem. Next is a detail of the full, puffed sleeve, and finally, a detail of the reverse of the whitework embroidery.
One of the things that fascinates me about recreating an actual historical gown like this is that the manuta-makers copy every aspect of the original. If you look closely at the picture of the from hem, you can see that there's a deep tuck running parallel to the bottom strip of embroidery. While no one knows for sure, it's a good guess that the gown was shortened for the wearer in this way after the embroidery had been done, and necessity became a design feature.