Black Eyed Daughter



Avery L Kopp

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Patterns Used: Simplicity 8162 and McCall's M7965

Outline the story …

One of my all time favorite poems is Alfred Noyes' The Highwayman, and since the time I was a teenager I wanted to create a work inspired by this piece. I decided to use my newfound interest in costuming to bring Bess the Landlord's Daughter to life. I drew a lot of inspiration to create this look from watching many shows set in the 18th century and falling in love with Sam Heughan and/or Aidan Turner (who hasn't?). I also enjoy the Getting Dressed Series from Crows Eye Productions and I enjoy learning about the history of fashion and how clothing was worn and used and constructed. On a personal note, there was one moment during the creation that I thought to myself that I should pick another character. That I, a plus sized woman, would not be believed as the beautiful black eyed that pesky thought I decided to say "Jokes on you!" I feel beautiful in the dress I created, and perhaps "on a winter's night if the wind is in the trees" I might too meet with my highwayman.

Outline the construction…

To begin I first created a shift using Morgan Donner and Bernadette Banner's YouTube videos for inspiration for the shift's construction. I used a linen blend to create the shift, machine sewing the sides and gores and then hand sewing the top hem. I then researched typical skirts and dress construction of the 18th century and decided to try my hand at creating my own skirt that used ribbon ties. The fabric I used I would not choose. After those garments were created I procrastinated...because the next steps would be the most challenging. BUT! The best way to achieve a proper silhouette is by creating the proper foundational garments. I consulted Simplicity number 8162 and created the bum pad to create that proper lift and then the most challenging and yet most rewarding, the proper 18th century stays to complete the underpinnings. For the bodice I consulted YouTube and found great inspiration in Micarah Tewer's Princess and the Pauper Videos but as I am still a novice in terms of pattern creation I wanted to better understand the construction of something like a bodice and while I now have more questions to ask, I am still glad I consulted McCall's M7965 in order to create a well formed bodice. While there are many things I would change (including not injuring myself the NIGHT I needed to submit) I am still proud of the garments I created!




  1. Avatar Lizzie Foulon on March 11, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Love your entire outfit and the choice of colour. I knew you were Bess as soon as I read your inspiration. Should you find your highwayman I wish you a far better end than the poem’s!

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    This is so pretty!

  3. Andrea Painter Andrea Painter on March 12, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    This is so great!! Avery, I’m so glad that you told that stupid doubting voice in your head to sod off and continued on this project, as you look fricking amazing in this!! I haven’t read your inspiration writing, but that first photo is so incredibly evocative, with the silhouette and the look on your face. Beautiful work!

  4. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 14, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    This outfit looks so lovely!!

  5. Avatar Wendy on March 25, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    Too right, the foundational garments are a costumer’s friend! And I totally believe that the beautiful black eyed daughter could be a curvy lass — you totally made the right choice, look fabulous, and I’m so glad you shared your creation with us!

  6. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 26, 2021 at 5:55 am

    Very nicely done. I love the simplicity of the shift. Thank you so much!

  7. Avatar Laura Smith on March 29, 2021 at 12:05 am

    I also love that poem, what a classic! Have you heard the album by Karliene? Most of the tracks are the reading of the poem, but also a few original songs inspired by the poem.

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