Sacks Long or Short

An In-Person Masterclass with Brooke Welborn
Friday November 10th - Sunday November 12th
Registration Opens Wednesday August 9th at 12:30 PM EDT

“a Grey figur’d Stuff long sack, second Mourning for my Grandmother”
- Barbara Johnson, 1753

“Stolen…a fine chintz short sack and petticoat” - White Hall Evening Post, 21 April 1761

The Long Sack, Sacque, or Robe a la Francaise is one of the most elegant garments worn throughout much of the middle of the 18th century.  Created out of a variety of fabrics with an ever-changing array of trims, these gowns are easily identified by their pleated backs that flow from shoulders to floor.  The Short Sack or Pet en l’air is the less formal version, whose pleated backs stop somewhere between hip and knee. While some Sacks had front waist seams between bodice and skirts, many long sacks and almost all shorts sacks were constructed without, due to careful pleating of the fabric. This masterclass will focus on this very style of long or short sacks without waist seams.

Join Brooke Welborn for a three-day masterclass where participants will:

  • Discuss the evolution of long and short sacks from the 1740s-80s and the varieties of trims, flounces, ruffles and cuffs that they can be finished with.
  • Examine several 1760-70s sacks to evaluate their cut and construction.
  • Work with a partner to cut and fit their sack using the methods of the 18th c. Mantua-Maker.             
  • Hand stitch their own gowns.
  • By the end of the workshop participants will not only have their garments assembled with sleeves set but will have designed and begun creating the trims for their garments. 


Due to time restraints, participants are required to bring with them previously cut & fit basic 18th century lining shapes in muslin for BOTH bodice & sleeves.  These “shapes” can be from a previous Burnley & Trowbridge workshop on cutting shapes or gowns. Participants are required to wear a 1750s-70s pair of stays and hoops. Participants will need 10-12 yds of fashion fabric for a long sack or 6-8 yds for short sack (including petticoat & trims), linen for lining, buttons, twist, etc. A full list of needed supplies will be included after registration. 

This masterclass is an Advanced Plus Level 4. All participants must have extensive experience making historical 18th century women's clothing and excellent hand sewing skills. Due to this, all those interested in this masterclass must fill out the following questionnaire: Sacks: Long or Short Masterclass Pre-Approval Form.  We will then:

  • Contact you by email to let you know if you are pre-approved or not 
  • If approved a registration link will be sent to you on Tuesday, August 8th
  • Registration by that link will open at 12:30 pm EDT on Wednesday, August 9th.

Masterclass workshop hours are Friday & Saturday, 9am - 5pm, and Sunday 9am - 3:30 pm. Please be prepared for “homework” on Friday and Saturday night!

The cost of this 3 day workshop is $600.**

Those participants wishing to bring a "model" to make this garment for will need to pay an additional $60 fee.

Class size is limited to 6 participants.



Because of the nature and enrollment limitation of our workshops, we regret that we are unable to give a full refund for a cancellation.  If you cancel 30 or more days prior to the workshop, we will refund your fee less a $50 cancellation fee. If you cancel less than 30 days prior to the workshop, we will have to charge the full amount of the workshop unless we are able to fill your slot, in that event you will be charged only the $50 cancellation fee.