Simplicity 8161 18th Century Costumes Review

Pattern Description:
Misses’ 18th century highland costumes includes outfits in two styles: the first is a gown with stomacher and petticoat, and the second is a bodice with petticoat and stomacher.

Pattern Sizing:
6-14; 14-22 I cut a 16 with some 18 for shoulder/arm.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Except for a weird thing with the sleeve that I believe is physically impossible, yup.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The pattern is great as is, though you have to fit it over the proper 18th century stays. If you don’t do this, the whole thing is lumpy and doesn’t work well. I did find this pattern exceptionally easy to hack. so all of my three iterations are variations on the original pattern – none are actually the original pattern of the bodice.

Peirot style back with fan pleating and tail.

Fabric Used:
Purple: Velvets
Blue: Linen for bodice, cotton for stomacher
Yellow: Wool Broadcloth, white linen & white embroidered mesh for stomacher.
The yellow skirt is also from the same pattern and is wool broadcloth.

Tabs added for waist detail and interest.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Oh boy. Tons?
Fit Alterations
Purple: No fit alterations other then lengthening the sleeve by 1″. Added the multi-piece peplum.
Blue & Yellow Fit Alterations: Added 1″ to front bodice, 1/2″ to back bodice (both below the bust). Added 2″ to the sleeve. Added 1.5″ to the Stomacher and pointed the end instead of leaving a round tip – this is just personal preference.
Yellow Skirt
I did not add length. Instead, I cut the pattern as called for, stuck it on my dressform, and adjusted the length there. Due to the bum pad (From Simplicity 8162 – the coordinating pattern), I did not take up the back of the skirt at all. I did take the front up by 5 inches, making the finished front 2″ shorter than the back. This is a historically accurate asymmetrical hem (so progressive!) to prevent wear on the skirt from walking.

Styling Alterations:
Blue: I gave the blue a traditional Fan Pleated back with top stitching. I did this by draping the pleats onto the lining. I also dropped the back shoulder seam for a more historically accurate line. I gave this one hand sewn eyelets.
I sew this one up as the pattern called for! Mostly. I added robings to the front edges, this allows to bodice to be pinned on and the pins to be hidden. There are no eyelets on this bodice.

Robings added to front, no lacing closure

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I’ve made three of this one, I see no reason why I wouldn’t make another. For reference, I am a cosplayer, so each of these is a historical version of a character: Yellow is Belle, Blue is Snow White, and the Purple is The Artist from The Untitled Goose Game.

I adore this pattern. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to historical sewing and silhouette. Each bodice, even with all my alterations sewed up in about 5-6 hours – so it’s a very quick sew. Without any alterations (like the yellow one prior to the robings) the jacket took all of four hours from cut to finish. The skirt is super simple and could be sewn up in about 2 hours, but I got very finicky with the hem, so it took me quite a bit longer.

Front view of the Snow White