Plannings For A 1740s Scottish Ensemble

I do love me some OL and the show’s been inspiring some Scottish-themed ideas, especially since I “rediscovered” a gorgeous tartan skirt that’s been lurking in my closet the last 11 years, loved but unworn.

I thought I’d put together my take on 1740s Scottish attire (about which I know nothing), with a skirted jacket worn over a stomacher, paired with a wool petticoat, and the accompanying accessories. Here’s my inspiration sketch:
The tartan has come from a skirt I bought in Edinburgh when I was 19. Despite being very very American, way back we have Scottish ancestry, and one of our clans is Morrison. Unfortunately, the shop didn’t have any Morrison skirts, so I got something that was close, which has turned out to be the Gunn tartan.  The lighter fabric here is the Morrison, and the darker is the Gunn:
complete with dog hairs. of course.
Lucky for me, Scottish kilts and skirts are constructed of one uncut length of wool. I unpicked the entire thing, soaked it in vinegar/water to pull the perma-pressed pleats out, and then steam ironed the flat, damp yardage. Now it’s one nice length, ready to be cut for the jacket.
The skirt before I deconstructed it.
Laid out flat. The white circles are where there are moth holes, or small tears/frays in the fabric, so I will cut around those.
I will be using an altered version of the JP Ryan jacket pattern View A/B, which I acquired primarily for the sleeves, armscyes, and winged cuffs (I’m so tired of messing the sleeves and armscyes up *every* time!):
JP Ryan jacket pattern – you can get it here
My inspiration jackets are these:
Casaquin, 2nd quarter of the 18th c., from Galliera Musee de la Mode de la Ville de Paris – via Fripperies & Fobs
The above two are both continental European jackets – you see a lot of this type from Spain – but there is also this one with English origin:
Kerry Taylor Auctions – 1740-45, made of Spitalfields silk – via
Kerry Taylor Auctions – that back cut is gorgeous – via
Here’s another from the Snowshill Wade Costume Collection (National Trust), with origin in France:
1736-40 – click through for the record
Of course, my version won’t be so grand in silk brocade, but I really like the subtlety of the tartan plaid, and I think it will be lovely.

More on this project, the stays and chemise to go under it, and the embroidered stomacher, coming up!


  • AuntieNan

    October 2, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    I ADORE the Spitalfields silk one! And it looks like the CF is on the straight grain, which will make the plaid wrangling easier.
    Terrific project!

    • Lauren Stowell

      October 6, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      It does, but I think I'll play with the plaid on the cross grain, to make a cool pattern in back…may or may not work with how the skirts on the jacket then flare. Must test!

  • Ellen Duran

    October 2, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Love the tartan!! I've been wanting to do something plaid for a while but have been super torn as far as era…. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

    • Lauren Stowell

      October 6, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      Plaid it wonderful for lots of eras – I have some other plaid I want to make into a 1940s blazer, and a nice plaid skirt of any era is always welcome 🙂

  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    October 2, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    How delicious! And those pockets, I adore them. It's those little details that turn something beautiful into something exquisite.

  • Decor To Adore

    October 2, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Then when you tire of this lovely ensemble you can send it on to me!

    In a funny coincidence I also have my clan tartan (Gunn) up on my blog today. But I will be making a pillow. 🙂

    • Lauren Stowell

      October 6, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      How interesting! My last name is/was Reeser, but it's an adopted name. I don't know much about the Reese's or Reesers, or even if my Reeser is Scottish or German.

  • The Laced Angel

    October 3, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    I'll admit, I'm very much a fan of the full pleated tartan skirts/petticoats that I've been seeing from Outlander and am toying with the idea of making one. Excited to see how this turns out!

    • Lauren Stowell

      October 6, 2014 at 10:17 PM

      Tartan petticoats, GO! My skirt for this outfit isn't going to be tartan, just a solid wool, but if I had enough tartan to do the whole gown I would have. There's one dress Claire wears in the Gathering episode that is a full gown of tartan worn with an embroidered stomacher, and its' *gorgeous*

  • The Dreaded Seamstress

    October 3, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Outlander is full of inspiration. I plan to make the gown Claire wore in The Gathering, and I've already acquired a lovely cotton print for the petticoat and stomacher.

  • Rachelle

    October 3, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    I suspect there will be a lot of Outlander inspired garments popping up; I'm certainly thinking about it too, especially as I already have the underwear to go with it.

  • Unknown

    October 3, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    I am just starting on a few Outlander inspired costumes myself. Unfortunately I am short on plaid at the moment. I don't want to just use any tartan, I want to order my families, but the Fergusson design is not a popular one so it is very expensive. However, if anyone figures out where to purchase the ultimate accessory needed for any Outlander outfit, ie. Jaime Fraser, let me know 😉

  • Unknown

    October 3, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Hi Lauren,
    Well if I can be of any service don't hesitate to let me know. I can't wait to see what you do!
    I am on your blog looking at your riding habit. Thinking Claire…

    All the best!
    Terry Dresbach (Outlander)

  • Mutemouia

    June 9, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Hi Lauren,

    I need your help on this one! I am planning on making a provencal 1740s outfit and I wanted to go for a casaquin as jacket.
    I was wondering if it is possible to wear it with pocket hoops and a quilted petticoat ?

    Thanks in advance, and all the best!

    • Lauren Stowell

      June 9, 2016 at 8:03 PM

      Hi Mutemouia – Yup, you can wear a jacket with pocket hoops and a quilted petticoat. There are tons of casaquin jackets from this time period that were worn over side hoops, an quilted petticoats were worn for all of the 18th c.


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