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Detail of matching hat

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Detail of lace sleeve

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Finished 18th century gown

18th century gown finished
18th century gown finished

Trimming an 18th Century Gown

This 18th century costume includes the efforts of two talented Ladies.

Corsetiere Marie Cooley made the superb corset from some antique curtains I had acquired that date from the 1920’s. You can find her beautiful corsets at her website.

Designer extraordinaire Tamara Somerfield sewed the beautiful historically accurate and perfect fitting gown from the same material.

All that is left is for me to embellish their lovely work with harmonious trims, my favorite part.

I am going to share that process with you because it is such fun and may inspire others.

You can Never Make Too Many Samples

Here are some of the samples I made from the silk taffeta remaining from the skirt as well as ribbon trims I gathered, ruched and layered.

Front of Gown Options

Originally I was going to make a trimmed front but decided I didn’t want to hide the beautiful pattern on the front of the gown.

Inspiration Every where I Looked

After a few days into the process of sampling I started seeing my color palette in unexpected places. An Art Nouveau Poster I have had on my wall for decades and ribbons I have had in my collection for years.

Ribbons and Trims Chosen

These are the ribbons I have chosen. Starting with a twill tape foundation I have layered the plaid picot, pleated chiffon, picot, tiny grosgrain, silk rococo flower, and corded trims. I have scalloped the pleated chiffon and grosgrain in the finished trim.

The Finished Trim

Now to start on the yards of trim needed to finish the gown… pictures to follow soon.

Fine Selection of French Ribbons in a Paris Grey Palette


Vintage Ribbons make the most authentic ruffled and pleated trims to give your costumes that touch of authenticity required for the ambiance of another time.

These fine quality trims date from the late 19th century through the 1920s.

Fine Quality French Ribbons and Small Gifts are Available

This palette of French Blues includes 19th century packaging, Picot Ombré ribbons, and small velvet pin cushions hand sewn with pearls.