Last fall, Burnley & Trowbridge got in some lovely lightweight striped silks. But along with the stripes, there was white silk taffeta for $10/yd. Only 36" wide, but still. Whee! So I decided I needed a fancy 1700s dress, probably 1780s or early 1790s. All I have right now is a cotton print and a solid wool. ;)
But then I had trouble figuring out the style. I've long been fascinated by the turque; those adorable little sleeves over the slim long ones, in two colors, are so spiffy. But I couldn't find a fashion plate or portrait that really appealed to me. Then the levite was an idea; super-fashionable for a few years, too. But again, I couldn't find any particular inspiration that called to me. And both the turque and levite are multi-color ensembles, and none/very few of them are with white.
I've said for a while that if and when I do a sacque, it will be white. (Or maybe pale pink.) But the sacque was more fashionable in earlier decades, and I just didn't want to go back that far. And I really wanted something fairly simple. I suspected, too, that the B&T taffeta was slightly lighter weight than I'd want for a fancy sacque.
After staring at fashion plates and portraits sites for way too long, I found it.
Portrait of Mrs Moody, George Romney
So simple, but so pretty. It's basically a chemise dress with a gathered front bodice and fitted sleeves. I love the little cuffs with buttons and the sheer frill. And there's the collar, plus the wide pink sash and ribbon bows all the way down the front. It makes me happy. :) Now I just need to find the right color of ribbon and silk to match. That might be hard!