As you may recall, I went to Colonial Williamsburg this August. I'm still sifting through my images. Here are two, of a lovely silk gown. The top one shows the front, with the petticoat. The ruffled trim is hand-cut organza. The edges have been pinked. The entire dress is hand sewn. A petticoat would support the skirt, plus pannier hoops at the hips. I can only say - Gorgeous!
These pictures don't do the dress justice. The floral motifs are hand embroidered. Again, construction is entirely hand sewn. The style is a saque-back gown, meaning pleats fall gracefully from the shoulder, fitted over the back to the waist. The ladies I saw wearing these gowns looked lovely. Back then. the fitting was generally made while being worn. No paper patterns ion 1776!
I'll find one of Martha Washington to share with you soon.