Abby’s Jane Austen Fest Dinner Dress – Done!

Hello Lovelies!

Abby here and I am in full “July has been full of travel and awesome but now I need a nap nap” mode over here at American Duchess headquarters. There was so much going on this month between Jane Austen Festival and Costume College that Lauren and I are just now sitting down trying to get back down to the normal business at hand.

This means that it’s time to get back to the fun stuff – like blogging (& podcasts & facebook live streams!). Weee! So first up on my list is to talk about my late 1790s dinner dress that I wore to Jane Austen Fest. (Previous Posts – Here & Here)

Enjoying the hell out of “Golden Hour” at Locust Grove.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with how this outfit came out. It wasn’t my original plan, but dammit, I love this outfit! While adding the gold fringe trim did make my neckline a touch wonky (it made the under-bodice pull up just enough to get on my nerves…), I am really happy for that last minute addition… more sparkle! More gold! It didn’t itch either! Hooray!

Since my original plan was to wear a tunic and I wanted a brooch to sit at my shoulder to “clasp” the tunic at the shoulder, I was already on the hunt for some good jewelry choices. When my tunic plan fell through I just ended up buying 2 of the same Wedgwood brooches with the idea that I would wear one in my turban wrap and another at my center under-bust to help draw everything together. I then had a massive stroke of luck when Lauren, Nicole, and I went to my favorite vintage store in Louisville, Kentucky – The Nitty Gritty. Not only did I find 2 hats and a dress all for me but they also had a larger sized Wedgwood brooch that would be much nicer for the under-bust! Yes! Woo!

I used the Wedgwood brooches to help anchor the
turban to my hair since it could want to slip around a bit

While at Jane Austen Fest on Saturday, Serendipity took over, again, and low and behold Taylor of Dames a la Mode had a late 1790s gold chain with Wedgwood & matching earrings set on sale! It was like she made it for me, only she made it a year ago and, luckily for me, it didn’t sell at last year’s event! I snatched it up immediately (along with more pearl & hoop earrings that I’m obsessed with) and wore it the rest of the day. That necklace was just the Wedgwood cherry on top.

I really love this necklace…it’s so perfect! (And damn that pesky under bodice slid up!) 

I wore this gown all day long at Jane Austen Festival (over 12 hours) and I was just beyond comfortable for dinner, drinking, and after hour shenanigans with Lauren yelling for Willoughby and trying not to completely fall down a hill! This is probably my new favorite gown I own, because of how cool (literally and figuratively) and comfortable it is to wear. I even wore it again on Friday night at Costume College!

Maggie and I were Turban Wrap sisters all day. <3 

Finally, as a shameless plug – this gown was created based off of the lining and sleeve patterns that are in our book The American Duchess Guide To 18th Century Dressmaking: How to Hand Sew Georgian Gowns and Wear them with Style. My turban wrap, reticule, and under petticoat are also all directly from the book, and so if you would like to replicate this style all of that information will be available on November 21st! If you’re thinking of flirting with the late 1790s ladies, don’t hesitate – she is so much fun!


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