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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quasi 18th century gown

One day I will have the 18th century ensemble I dream of.  Not only will I have a hedgehog wig and American Duchess satin slippers, I will also have appropriate stays and a sacque. Good things are worth waiting for but it all takes time.

So while I am waiting for my stays, being somewhat impatient to play, I decided to make a quasi 18th century gown I can wear with modern undergarments. 

Yes, yes, this will no doubt cause shudders to many of you who are involved with re-enacting but sometimes half a loaf will do - especially since I don't know of anyone else in my area who is obsessed with the 18th century.  And realistically, the climate here in my part of Australia is not terribly conducive to getting dressed up in anything involving sleeves let alone stays.

I am using Simplicity pattern 3723 as a basis but being me, I decided I wanted the look of a Robe a la Francaise sans sacque back.

This is not only foolhardy, it's actually hysterical since I haven't sewn a garment involving a pattern since last millenia when 'one' was a lot slimmer.  And while I prefer handsewing, I have pulled the machine out for this one.  But wait it gets worse. Being an inveterate recycler, the material I am using is from some old drapes.

After much altering, pinning and tacking, unpicking and tacking, more unpicking and tacking and some slightly salty language I have managed to put the main pieces together and they seem to fit me.  I have a separate skirt to go underneath and have to work out how I am going to approximate the stomacher. 

I am not sure the finished article will ever feature here, but it's certainly an adventure.  Already I can see the skirt needs more volume so I am am tossing up whether to add another piece in at the back.  Ah the joys of a 'great idea'!

1 comment:

  1. We all gotta start somewhere! My first 18th c. gown was hardly historically accurate, and there are many who would say that my current 18th c. items aren't as accurate as they could be. It all comes down to how you want to look and feel :-) Post photos soon!!

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