A *New* 1760s Robe a la Bon Bon (or Sacque-a-Macarons?)

I have a confession to make. I admit to feeling quite jealous whenever I see Abby dressed in the pink and white 1768 sacque from The American Duchess Guide. To me, that gown embodies everything I love about Rococo fashion. Thus it seems like the perfect time to make a fresh new puff-pastry of a sacque from the new Simplicity 8578 pattern.

This Simplicity Pattern + This Book = Pretty Fluffy Sacque

I’m excited to demonstrate how to use the ready-made paper pattern with the historically accurate hand-sewing instructions in the book. I hope to show how anyone can start with the basic shapes of an 18th century gown and tweak, fit, finagle, and futz to make her or his own creation.

I’ve cut out the Simplicity 8578 pattern tissue in a size 12 but after hunting down the Finished Garment Measurements on the bodice front piece, I anticipate that I’m going to work out quite a bit of excess in the fitting. This is no bad thing – in fact, I recommend cutting the side back seam, armscye, and bodice bottom edges with extra seam allowance just to give yourself more room for adjustment (say, for instance, if you have a long waist like me).

My fabric is a gorgeous striped taffeta in very warm taupe, coral, and sage. It reminds me of the textile used for this extant gown:

Sacque, c. 1770s. Kerry Taylor Auctions. The taffeta used on this gown has a consistent and more regular repeat. The colors are similar to mine and there is that ombre effect.

I was lucky to find plenty of this silk on the bolt so I bought, um, probably too much (is there such a thing?) in anticipation of trimming the snot out of this gown. I also wanted enough yardage to carefully choose my stripe placement on the back pleats of the gown to create a symmetrical design.

Trimming the petticoat – I’ve done several type of whip-gathered trims here and stacked them onto the front panel of the petticoat. These were stitched on to the panel flat, before pleating.

My lining fabric is heavy linen, tightly woven, which will serve for a good understructure for the gown. I will use a lighter linen for the sleeve lining and a cheap silk taffeta for the hem guard on the train.

I haven’t quite decided on using the separate stomacher from the book or making the comperes front from the Simplicity pattern. I don’t mind pinning stomachers; I really rather like a set in, button-front falsie, but I keep imagining eschelles (bows) in green or blue exploding out of my chest, which may or may not work with a comperes front. I’ll just have to play around with them and see. 🙂

A very quick doodle

So now to the sewing…I’ve cut the petticoat and have starting making trim to go on before assembling the front and back panels. It’s a good starter project to get back in the swing of things and hopefully break my Do-It-All-Thrice curse. I’ll check back in soon with petticoat updates, notes, and pictures.


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