I was pleasantly surprised as to how easy it is to approximate an 18th-century silhouette. I used a standard strapless bodice pattern but widened the centre front piece at the top and lengthened it into a point at the bottom, adjusting the front sides accordingly. I also mashed the shoulder straps of another dress pattern onto the bodice pieces to hold the sleeves, making them sit as far apart as possible to give the wide square neckline.
The over-skirt was simply 3 metres of taffeta, with one selvage folded over and stitched to make a channel. Through this I ran a length of ribbon so the skirt could tie around my waist like a back-to-front apron.