The Duchess of Devonshire

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Introduction: The Duchess of Devonshire

Georgiana Cavendish was the Duchess of Devonshire during the 18th century.  She was famous for her role in politics, fashion, and philanthropy.  She was immortalized in film by Keira Knightly in the movie The Duchess in 2008.

In the movie she wore a beautiful striped zone front robe a l'anglaise.  As soon as I saw it, I had to make it!!  It was quite the endeavor because I'd never made such an elaborate gown before.  I used a rust and gold striped cotton for the robe and gold taffeta for the petticoat and zone front.  I also used muslin and featherlight boning to create pocket hoops for the dress to lay right.  Using pinking shears, I also cut and stitched authentic ruched ruffle for the bottom of the petticoat and the sleeves.  I made my own gold taffeta buttons and stitched button holes for the zone front closure and used an antique gold metal closure.  I made fabric roses for the back waist to polonaise the skirt.

I wore it to my friends annual masquerade party and it was a hit!  It was my first 18th century zone front gown and I was very happy with it :)

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