A Borrowed Dress



Ashley Fisher


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

tanyasoffthehook & christopher.j.b (photos)

Outline the story …

The first time I read Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" I was hooked! The characters and world-building were encompassing for me, page 189 of her first book has always stuck with me imagining the yards of heavy satin and velvet, the colour scheme made it all seem so rich. For me, it was also the beginning of the whole story where Claire began to accept the situation she was in and it all began with that borrowed dress, though she was unaware at that moment Jamie had issued that he would provide for her as much as he possibly could. The dress Terry Dresbach designed for the show was absolutely stunning but in my mind didn't quite meet the expectation the book placed in my head. For the making of this dress, I pulled inspiration from both sources the on-screen vision gave me an idea of silhouette and the book gave me the colour pallet and essence of what this dress was representing a new life, loyalty, adoration, and companionship. This dress is my first go at a fancy 18th-century gown, I have made separates before this for me was a whole other ball game, on top of the dress I also made a new sift and proper stays, which before now I had never done! I've made corsets, the stays were a new experience especially with trying to lace them on my own for fittings, pictures of the undergarments can be viewed on my Instagram.

Outline the construction…

I knew trying to source fabric and notions for this project was going to be difficult, I live in a rural area with the closest fabric store being over an hour away and the closest store with a big selection of fashion fabrics being up to four hours away, given the state of the world I chose to risk ordering online, the amount of fabric for this project felt like a big risk but I jumped in with both feet I order eleven yards of oatmeal linen with a metallic finish and six yards white double gauze. For the patterning, I did use McCall's M7764 as the starting point and then heavily modified it, I added extra skirt panels, drafted new sleaves, drafted and redrafted the bodes, and created a detachable stomacher which I hand applicated with fabric I had already the same fabric was used for the lacing around the sleeves. Making cartridge pleats was also a new experience for me and I had to do a lot of research between books and online and I am still not 100% sure I did it correctly but I like how they turned out. This project tested my hand sewing skills, the only seams machine sewn are the long seams and the seam for the ruffle, the bodice is boned and all finishing's were completed by hand. The piping around the waistline was also something new for me it was an exciting and overwhelming experience, to say the least.




  1. Avatar Beth on March 11, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Looks absolutely beautiful! Fabulous details you’ve added and I love your interpretation of the dress!

  2. Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 11, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you so much.

  3. Avatar Rebecca on March 12, 2021 at 5:18 am

    your dress is lovely, and so are you. what beautiful photographs!

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 21, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you so much, The photoshoot was so much fun to do.

  4. Avatar Cynthia Riley on March 12, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Such a beautiful design, l love it ♥️.

  5. Avatar Sammyra on March 13, 2021 at 7:26 am

    so beautiful! (both the dress and the photos) hope you’re proud of yourself, this is so lovely ♡ looks like your risk payed off, because the fabric looks amazing!

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 21, 2021 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you Sammyra, I think it turned out well. I ordered more than it turned out I needed so I will have to put it to good use.

  6. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 14, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Beautiful interpretation. 🙂

  7. Avatar Camille on March 14, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    I really like the colors and textures.

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 21, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      One of my favorite colour combinations

  8. Avatar Jade Littlechild on March 17, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Stunning!! Absolutely love!! Well done!!

  9. Avatar Becky C on March 19, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    This is so lovely!! Your attention to detail is incredible. I love it!

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 21, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you, it was very hard not to rush on this project but I think it paid off.

  10. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 21, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    Your gamble on the fabrics worked out splendidly! The metallic linen is perfect. The outfit is stunning.

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 21, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you very much. It was a relief when it arrived, absolutely love everything about this fabric.

  11. Avatar Benigna on March 26, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    This dress is beautiful! I really like the colours and the pictures looks like they are a real portrait.

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 31, 2021 at 2:37 pm

      Thank you so much, doing the photos for this was so much fun it was really hard to choose which ones to enter.

  12. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 27, 2021 at 5:30 am

    This dress really is stunning! The colours and textures are divine!

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 31, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you so much.

  13. Avatar Nina Martin on March 30, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Beautiful design! Totally fits into the way I picture the beginning of Claire’s time in the past.

    • Avatar Ashley Fisher on March 31, 2021 at 2:40 pm

      I am so happy that the picture’s translated that, thank you.

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