My reason for going to Colonial Williamsburg was for a Workshop given by Burnley and Trowbridge (If you’ve never checked out their fabrics, you should!) on making an Italian Gown!

I was fortunate to accompany 3 other blogesses and get to make gowns alongside them!

L-R: Me, Julie from The Fat Reenactress, Alicia from LBCC Historical, and Christina from On Living History. A great bunch! Photo courtesy of Alicia.

We learned a lot about this kind of gown, which seemed to be prevalent in the later part of the 18th century, where bums were very “pronounced.”
Italian gowns are characterized by a separate skirt attached to the bodice and a deep “v” at the center back that goes in between the two– ahem– cheeks. (Thanks Burnley and Trowbridge, Abby and Sarah of the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop, for all the information!)

Abby and Sarah; Apprentices from the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop of Colonial Williamsburg. They have such a wealth of knowledge it’s not even funny. Photo courtesy of Burnley and Trowbridge.

I had a fabulous time, and though I suck at taking progress photos for anything, my good friends WERE! So there’s evidence I was there!

Evidence, From Julie.

We cut (on the body) bodices, sleeves and skirts and got little-to-no sleep doing homework. But by the end of the workshop we had basted/set sleeves in, put together the bodice and only had finishing touches (and attaching the skirt).

Another great photo from Burnley and Trowbridge, Julie setting of the sleeves!

The skirt pleating was RIDICULOUS. I still don’t have a good worktable for projects, which leaves me on the ground most of the time. My back HURT. But they’re pretty!

TINY pleating. Clothes pin for scale.

I was so happy to finish this gown in decent time and I was able to wear it for the Steampunk Masquerade (part of the Steampunk Spectacle). Enjoy!


Steampunk Masquerade Ball! I didn’t have anything new/suitable, so I went with an “Autumn” Theme.