Catherine’s Gown



Whitney Yanagita


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photographer: Miranda Christensen

Outline the story …

In Chapter 3 of Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey", Catherine Morland and Mrs. Allen meet Mr. Tilney again at the Lower Rooms in Bath. Upon learning that Mr. Tilney "understands muslin," Mrs. Allen asks him what he thinks of Miss Morland's gown. He responds that is was "very pretty," but may fray.

When creating Catherine's muslin gown, I took into account her age and naivete. She's only fifteen, and, being from the country, has never been out in society. This white gown, with small blue embroidery, is what I feel she would have chosen when first in Bath. Its simplicity echoes her own simplicity and romanticism. Perhaps it is the kind of gown that she dreamed about when she first started to fantasize about going to balls.

Though I hope it won't fray, as Mr. Tilney suspects!

Outline the construction…

I used the Regency Gown from Sense and Sensibility pattern to make this dress. The outer material is muslin and the lining is linen.

One of the challenges I had was easing the center back and the side back seams. Making the curved seams fit together took several tries. I had to video call a more skilled seamstress to walk me through the steps.

The button holes were also challenging. Setting up my sewing machine correctly and getting them to actually look like button holes took several practice holes, as well as several re-readings of my machine's manual.

I also decided to pleat the back instead of gather it. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube about pleating, and then read in the Reader Digest's Complete Guide to Sewing.

I decided to hand fell the seams on the bodice, to keep them from fraying. This idea and the execution of it came from the the multiple sewists and costumers I watch on YouTube.

The placket in the back of the skirt was difficult to understand from the directions in the pattern. Fortunately, the creator of the pattern had a video on her website explaining how to do it.




  1. Avatar Jo Watson on March 11, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    A wonderful dress and beautiful photography. You’d fit in perfectly in Bridgerton 🙂

    • Avatar Suzi Smart on March 11, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      Beautiful! I love the details and the fit

  2. Avatar Margoton on March 11, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    That’s a splendid dress! The embroidery is very delicate and pretty, it fits Catherine very well, I think. Well done!

  3. Avatar Laura Holland on March 11, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Very Catherine Morland- fabulous!

  4. Avatar Teri Plemel on March 12, 2021 at 1:02 am

    So pretty and delicate. I love the embroidery too!

  5. Avatar Lindsey on March 12, 2021 at 1:15 am

    The simple embroidery is lovely and so fitting for this sweet dress. and THOSE curved seams are flawless.

  6. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Your seams are SO beautiful- and your choices on how to depict her is absolutely gorgeous. Big congratulations on entering this stunning piece

  7. Avatar Elowen Blackthorn on March 12, 2021 at 9:26 am

    This is done oh so prettily, and I love that embroidery!

  8. Avatar Elena Migliorin on March 13, 2021 at 10:19 am

    You just made me want to make my own Regency gown. Really clean sawing, I love how the back flows! Good job! Good luck with the competition!

  9. Avatar Valerie Meachum on March 15, 2021 at 1:08 am

    Exquisite work! This simplicity leaves nowhere to hide, so all you can do is sew cleanly and well, and you nailed it. And I’m in love with that sleeve band detail – such a nifty small choice that makes a clear statement.

  10. Avatar Mónica on March 15, 2021 at 3:27 am

    Stunning! This is exactly what Catherine would have worn to Bath. You attention to carefully creating this dress shows. Well Done!

  11. Avatar Audra Borders on March 16, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    It is beautiful in its simplicity.

  12. Avatar Natalie-Cäcilie on March 17, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    What a wonderful gown, it looks so lovely

  13. Avatar Xenofon on March 18, 2021 at 9:55 am

    This is so nice. Love the attention to detail.

  14. Avatar Lisa Olsen on March 19, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Very pretty and that embroidery was a perfect choice!

  15. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 20, 2021 at 4:02 am

    I love the embroidery on the bottom hem and the sleeves, simple and yet quite elegant. The gown flows nicely! Thank you!

  16. Avatar Bill Baillie on March 21, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Very well done – the fit is good, which is not easy to achieve even though it looks like a simple garment. You have obviously made the most of the instructional resources you found. Lovely 🙂

  17. Avatar Bill Baillie on March 21, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Very well done – the fit is good, which is not easy to achieve even though it looks like a simple garment. You have obviously made the most of the instructional resources you found. I love the delicate blue embroidery too – perfect touch. 🙂

  18. Avatar Laura Ingalls Gunn on March 21, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    What a lovely gown. I adore the embroidery. Great work!

  19. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 23, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    Beautifully finished, the seams are impeccable and the blue embroidery detail is perfect! Such a gorgeous piece!

  20. Avatar Benigna on March 23, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    That looks wonderful! I especially like the embroidery on the sleeves.

  21. Avatar Carol Phillips on March 27, 2021 at 1:08 am

    Very nice indeed! Among the other challenges you overcame well is combining fabrics with different characteristics in the outer and inner layers.

  22. Avatar Kelli M on March 27, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    The embroidery is a wonderful touch to a beautiful gown!

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