Making an 18th Century Inspired Summer Dress

Who else needs a new (historically inspired) summer dress?

Corrections and improvements on the information given in this video will be published here in the description section, along with relevant sources and name/username acknowledgement.

-Fabric: Liberty of London
-Lining: From my stash, originally somewhere on 39th St. (Probably H&M Fabrics)
-Ribbon: M&J Trimming
-Cotton thread: John Lewis
-Linen thread: Burnley & Trowbridge
-Hat base from Penny River Custom Costumes and Historical Clothing on Etsy ( decorated with M&J ribbon, dried flowers and berries.

Useful Tools for Those So Inclined:
(Please note that these are affiliate links)
-Clear 18-inch ruler:
-Steel-headed straight pins:
-Every size & weight needle you will probably ever need:
-My most favorite (& stupidly fiddly) #10 sharps, the tiniest needles:
-Ye Trusty Olde 8” shears (tartan ribbon not included):
-Those wee bird snips that literally everyone seems to have:
-(But I’ve also just found these that are a unicorn and I am severely tempted; I should not be trusted with Amazon:
-Large Newsprint Pad:
-Actual pattern paper:
-Butcher’s paper:

-*Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen’s Dresses and Their Construction C. 1660 – 1860:
-17th Century Women’s Dress Patterns Book 1:
-17th Century Women’s Dress Patterns Book 2:
-17th Century Men’s Dress Patterns:
-A useful guide to setting 18th century sleeves:

-“1910-1913, Plate 002” The Libraries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, c. 1910.
-“Portrait of Princess Sybille of Cleve”, Lucas Cranach the Elder. Wikimedia Commons, 1526.
-“Fashion Plate (Walking Dress)”, Rudolph Ackermann. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1814.
-“Self-Portrait with a Harp”, Rose Adélaïde Ducreux. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1791.
-“Robe à l’Anglaise”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1785-87.
-“Robe à l’Anglaise”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1785 – 1795.
-“Liberty Frock Rendering” © Bernadette Banner, 2018.
-All photography of the finished dress courtesy of Hana DeHart

‘English Country Garden’ by Aaron Kenny, YouTube Audio Library

Portals to Other Realms:
Instagram, for real-time progress: (@bernadettebanner)
Patreon, for more vloggish and bloggish content:
Ko-Fi, if that’s more your thing:
Prints of costume renderings:

For business enquiries only, please:


23 thoughts on “Making an 18th Century Inspired Summer Dress”

  1. medical stays? im asuming this was a posture correcting method? bad posture is something iv been struggling with all my life and have yet to resolve in a comfortable method.. id be really interested to learn more about this

  2. This is a lovely dress. It reminded me of the Hobbit gowns shown in the flashbacks to when Bilbo was a little child. They went for a more 18th Century feel with those dresses and just raised the hem like you did.

  3. Beautiful! Makes me wish I could sew better, but in between knitting, spinning, designing, painting, felting, and work, I really shouldn't take up another hobby, especially, since I would have to invest so much time to get anywhere close to producing something wearable…

  4. Your dresses are pure stunning, your extremely skilled and talented, I haven’t seen anyone with such hand sewing precision in years, and about the whole being” socially acceptable” statement, don’t worry about how society sees your creations, show off your skill and proudly say “ yes I made this dress” you deserve recognition

  5. How charming! You remind me of my younger self. I lived around W 72nd Street – was a young soprano then – and sewed all my dresses etc. Entirely by hand. I loved the tactile experience – always hated sewing machines.
    Bougjt my fabrics on 39th Street, and patterns – mostly Vogue – which I would alter to suit my vidion. I would have LIVED to wear historical adaptations, but never went back farther than the '20s-'30s…and had some reproductions from J..Peterman,.one great outfit copied from OUT OF AFRICA, which was itself a cooy of some of Karen Blixen's real clothes.
    My mother – who had aspired to be a Hollywood designer in her youth – was an excellent seamstress who made clothes for my sister and me, and herself. I remember one ice-blue silk chiffon frock she made for herself in the early '50s – tiny tiny pleats at the waist, all sewn on the machine! She taught me, and admired my meticulous handwirk.
    Fast-forward a few decades. I live in jeans and tees and sweaters. My sewing basket contains a few strqy buttons and thread in the colors I usually wear. (NOT New York Black!) I live a more rural life now, gardening and cooking and tending my cats. But i miss my graceful handmade dresses!
    SO glad you are doing this !!!

  6. Stunning! Stunning! Stunning! I’m am very impatient, but I have to try this. It’s inspiring… bravo lovely.. ❤️

  7. The scarlet ruffles remind me of a scene in Georgette Heyer's Faro's Daughter (where the Heroine, at a Vauxhall Gardens Soiree, is attempting to shock the Guardian of a young man who is pursuing her, wooing her and trying to marry her much to said Guardian's horror – hilarious).

  8. Okay, for the LONGEST TIME, I thought that in order to make my own clothes, I needed to use a machine, which is terrifying to me. It's so nice to see someone not only use historical patterns, but historical METHODS too! Thank you for your videos!

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