In the years I spent dreaming of and planning my Strawberry Sacque, I had plenty of time to consider what pattern I would use and how exactly I would construct my gown. I knew I wanted to hand sew it, but what pattern would I use?
In 2019 I made my first Sacque back with the American Duchess Simplicity pattern - Simplicity 8578. It was easy to use, fit me well, and came together beautifully. It would be so simple to use it again!
But. . . In the years since making it I've learned more and read more and made more historical dresses. Soooo, now it was tempting to either drape my gown from scratch, using the instructions in The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking while also referencing pattern shapes and such from Patterns of Fashion 1, Costume Close-Up and The Cut of Women's Clothes, or to size up a pattern out of one of the latter three afore mentioned books.
When it came down to actually beginning my gown, 2 months before the ball, I just couldn't resist the simplicity of the Simplicity Pattern, so I went with a hybrid option - Simplicity 8578 with some pattern pieces altered to better match the pattern shapes of 1770's and 1780's sacques in the books.
First things first, I tried on my cotton Sacque to double check the fit before cutting into my silk. I decided to add an extra inch or so of length to the bodice. I looked at the bodice lining patterns in the books and decided the Simplicity bodice lining pattern was good enough.
I cut the lining out of some linen I had left over from my 18th century shift. After using the scraps of this linen to line a couple different 18th century bodices, I was down to the last little bit, and had to do some considerable piecing to make this work.
I may have regretting this decision when I was actually sewing on the skirt gores. That extra seam was annoying!