Friday, February 10, 2012

Elizabeth Swann Costume Study Part 1 - Young Elizabeth

Elizabeth Swann is the first character we meet in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. She is a young girl who is fascinated by pirates and the sea and also the daughter of the Governor. She is well dressed in what appears could be a dress made of silk with a floral pattern on it.
Here in the front you can see the front seamlines curving down into a "V" at the waist. Her sleeves are trimmed with wide lace which was very fashionable in this period.
Back view: you can see how the seams fall on the back of the bodice and also notice the pleating of the skirt and the fit of the sleeves.
Here you can see the neckline of her dress it trimmed with fine lace and it looks like a blue ribbon.
In this photo you can see how the back overlaps, it looks like it may fasten with hooks and eyes, though I'm not positive. You can also see where the sleeve seam is, not underneath as most seams are now days.
After the ship crew rescues Will Turner, Elizabeth finds the pirate medallion which is just the beginning of the story.
Here you can see the details of the medallion:

Pattern ideas for this dress are J.P. Ryan's Robe a l'Anglaise pattern for adult size, also
McCall's 6139 which would need some adjusting on the seam placements and the neckline shape. This would not be a historically accurate pattern but it does come in children and adult sizes so that's nice if you are simply looking for a quick easy costume! There is also a pattern from Mill Farm for a girl's 18th century gown that can be found here. Sense and Sensibility Patterns has a Portrait Dress Pattern that comes in both adult and children's sizes that could be altered to work as well. You can also purchase a replica of the pirate medallion here.


  1. The fabric for this dress is very pretty!

  2. Lovely post m'dear! I wouldn't even have thought of this dress! Oh! That reminds me.. Have you seen this tutorial on doing 18th c. sleeves (supposedly) the way they did it in the era?

    It's so cool! Great post Anna!
    xo Margo



Although I continually talk about movie costumes on this blog, I am not a movie reviewer. Not all the films I discuss are recommended and I do not choose to review weather they are appropriate or not for the simple fact that every person's standards are different. Something that is fine for me may be offensive to some one else and visa versa. If you would like to look into the appropriateness of a title, I recommend I have not seen all the movies I discuss, and am simply interested in the art of clothes in film. I will leave you to decide for yourself if you will watch the movie or not.


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