Coolest Homemade CostumesHomemade Costume Contest

Coolest Historical Dress Costume

by Monica B.

Homemade Robe à la Française Costume

Homemade Robe à la Française Costume

This is a "homemade" costume, one which is a little complex in structure, but overall isn't complicated in sewing technique. The costume was made by using historical patterns from 1750-1760, resized to fit my own measurements. The costume constitutes a total of 10 layers, which you can't see under the gown itself but which are in various places that help to give it's authentic 18th century look. Each layer is made using period correct fabric - the gown is pure silk taffeta, and the under layers are starched linens.

This was a very popular gown that would have been seen fairly often from 1730-1760, cuffs in the earlier years and flounces later, and enlarged to extreme widths for the higher aristocracy. It existed into 1780, mingled with other styles, and until 1790 would only be seen as formal court dress for the monarchy.

There are numerous names for it: "contouche", "Watteau", "sack" or "sacque back", and "robe à la française", which translates simply to Dress of the French, reflecting the strong influences that country had in terms of fashion and art. It features long pleats in the back, a very ingenious application that, through some lacing within the lining, made it a "size fits all" kind of gown: in other words, it could accommodate for the wearer if she gained or lost weight, just by tightening or loosening the laces.

Common decorations (for those who could afford it) included bows, ribbons, flowers, pearls, and rich embroidery in gold and silver.

Because there are so many layers (each requiring it's own special attention), it took me an entire year to make it in preparation for Halloween. I think that it was well worth the effort!

Comments for Coolest Historical Dress Costume

Click here to add your own comments

Lovely work
by: Dianne J.

Looks awesome! Would you be able to upload better pictures? I have an interest in historical clothes. Thanks!

by: Monica B.

Thanks! You can check it out on Just search for "canzonettina".

by: Anonymous

An absolutely beautiful costume.

by: Anonymous

I though it was a period painting at first glance

by: Anonymous

that is soooooo neat¡¡¡great job.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Other Homemade Costumes 2.

Coolest Colonial Girl Costume 3

by Courtney
(So Cal)

Homemade Colonial Girl Costume

Homemade Colonial Girl Costume

Hi everyone! When I was in fifth grade, we had Colonial Day. It was too late to order a costume, so my mom made me a homemade Colonial girl costume.

My hat was made of a cylinder-shaped pillow case tied with a black ribbon around my chin. I wore a black shirt and leggings. On top of my leggings, I wore a long, black skirt I borrowed from my Aunt. I wore a black jacket with antique buttons that I also borrowed from my Aunt. I wore my mom’s white lacy apron. I was wearing black, fancy shoes.

It was so hot in my costume! My friend borrowed it this year and she looked really cute! I probably should have worn the jacket OVER the apron. Silly me! I’m glad me, my mom, and my Aunt are creative. My mom and I are now good at sewing (that may come in handy…).

Good luck with your costume!

Comments for Coolest Colonial Girl Costume 3

Click here to add your own comments

by: Anonymous

that is so cool!

by: hey gal

that rocks girl you did so good it sounds great for my Halloween costume and costume contest at school

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Other Homemade Costumes 2.