Part 1: Inspiration and ResearchPart 2: Pattern, Mock Up and UnderpinningsPart 3: Construction. Pattern and Mock-Up The Isabella gown is an example of a robe a l'Anglaise, with a few particular quirks of construction. This style was popular and gradually evolved during the course of the eighteenth century. The back of the bodice is cut… Continue reading 1780s Tartan Gown: Part 2
1780s Tartan Gown: Part 1
Part 1: Inspiration and ResearchPart 2: Pattern, Mock Up and UnderpinningsPart 3: Construction. Inspiration and Research On display at the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery is a tartan wedding dress from the late eighteenth century: the Isabella MacTavish Fraser wedding dress. The dress was probably made shortly before January 1785 for the wedding of Isabella… Continue reading 1780s Tartan Gown: Part 1
The Isabella Dress
End of June I visited Edinburgh, to attend the event at the National Museum of Scotland where a team of dressmakers recreated the Isabella MacTavish Fraser dress.
This is one of those rare surviving garments which people might recognize by name alone. But for everyone else, it’s this garment:
Isabella MacTavish’s Wedding Dress, c. 1785. Photo courtesy of the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery
This dress is special for several reasons. The first thing which speaks to people it that it was a wedding dress, is still owned by the same family, and was worn by several generations of brides after Isabella.
The second thing, is that it is the only known surviving example of 18th century women’s dress made of tartan. Add to that the lure of Scotland, the vibrancy of the colors, (and the current popularity of Outlander also doesn’t hurt), and you get a garment which has…
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