Madame Sans Culotte! by Patw




A while ago, a picture of a striking 18th century homespun petticoat was posted by Kerry Taylor Auctions. ( )  It was described as "revolutionary," and it definitely has the look. I loved it, and thought it would be fun to costume a doll as a woman of the 1789 Paris mob. I came up with an illustration, and went on from there.

The woman in the picture is wearing a short jacket over a striped petticoat, a bib apron, a mobcap with a handkerchief draped and pinned over it, a pair of wooden sabots, and a neck handkerchief. I've chosen to use different fabrics, but have kept the elements of the outfit the same.

I was able to locate a cotton print fabric that approximated the original skirt, in scale with the doll. Made that. Next came the little caraco jacket, from the pattern in Costume Closeup, which went together far better than I'd ever hoped. The print is a little questionable, and I may replace it later. I chose to make a new pair of stays, in an indigo print, since they show in the front lacing of the jacket. I also did a new chemise with longer sleeves, since they show in the illustration.  I gave her a red check neck handkerchief. Rather than attempt sabots, I made her a pair of black leather common shoes. The mobcap came next, with its tricolor cockade. So far, I haven't done the handkerchief draped over the cap, but will, when a suitable fabric turns up. The apron is also from Costume Closeup, and worked well in miniature.


Which way to the Bastille?
"La Femme Sans-Culotte"
Wanna do the carmagnole, bebe?
Back of jacket.
Front lacing of jacket, showing stays





What a wonderful job you have done. I am really impressed how the fit and fabrics look so natural and right for the period, even though they are new. Good job. In a former life, I made a series of cloth dolls dressed in victorian costumes, working from photos and books, but generally without patterns. It is a lot of fun. Your work here makes me want to do it some more!

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