Molly’s Wardrobe: Plaid Dinner Gown

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As those who have read the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell know, Molly’s plaid dinner gown is described as ‘terrible’. The gown in the movie however has lovely lines and details, and would be quite attractive if made up in a different fabric. [ITF: we like the plaid!] The fabric looks like taffeta and is a pink, teal and small yellow stripe plaid.

It once again sports the silhouette of the late 1820s with a raised waistline and moderately puffed sleeves. The sleeves are unique with two puffs, which end right above the elbow. I suspect this is a two-piece sleeve; a gathered upper and fitted lower sleeve. The upper portion of the sleeve is divided a little lower than halfway between shoulder and elbow by what appears to be a piped band of fabric. There is another band like this one right before the elbow.

The bodice of the gown has a wide round neckline, with what appears to be a bias cut band round it with teal piping. It is gathered at the neckline and waist, creating a variation of the popular fan gathered bodice. This would be easy to do by simply adding 2″-3″ or more onto the center front of a bodice pattern piece (5″-6″ or more total) and gathering it up. There is once again a waistband. The skirt has a slightly gathered front and most likely a gathered back (this is not evident in the movie).


  1. On September 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm, AnnaMae Ouimet wrote:

    This is actually my favorite from this film! though i love her everyday ones as well. there is just something about the plaid, and the colors… 🙂

  2. On November 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm, Natalya wrote:

    I don’t know whether or not I like the dress, I think it’s one of those things that’s so ugly it’s cute! Alright, I kinda like the plaid. It looks good on her anyway. The build of the gown is certainly beautiful. It’s going on the list (the list of dresses that I will make someday)

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