1790s Princess Tiana

Honestly, this one started with the “Frog Reticule” from the “American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty”. I was playing with green fabric scraps and wanted a quick handsewing project during D&D. Then, I said to myself, “Self, Princess Tiana would love this reticule.” And here we are.

My round gown will be based off of the embroidered evening dress (French, 1798-1800) in the DAR collection, number 38 in the “An Agreeable Tyrant” exhibition catalogue. It is my absolute favorite extant piece of this style, probably because of the contrasting center panel.

3/24/2021 Update

We have a wearable mock-up, Team! Since the round gown in the AD book has a different bodice style than what I have in mind, I went ahead and hacked together a short gown from some B&T linen that I had leftover from the Hawkgirl underpinnings. With a construction plan in place, I can start mapping and digitizing the embroidery. I was going to wait for the new [to me] embroidery machine to move forward, but I’ll need time for samples so it’s better to get all of that out of the way. The shoes won’t be here until June at the earliest and I have tons of little pieces that I can obsess over until then.

Inspired by Agostino Brunias paintings depicting free women of color in Dominia; Anytime I can fit multiple costumes into one project is a good time.

Speaking of, two of the jewelry items have arrived and been deemed perfect for my Tiana. This gorgeous pearl necklace is from Dames a la Mode, and the faux jade teardrop earrings are from Lady Detalle. I’m still on the lookout for hair sparklies, but there’s also a sketch of what may become a 3D printed crown on my desk, so we’ll see.

I love it when a plan comes together.

And here’s a timelapse of me in my undies. You’re welcome.


  • Morrow Long, Carolyn. A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau. 2006
  • White, Sophie. Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana. 2019

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