ROBE À L'ANGLAISE
a roundgown of the 1780s
draped by me
faux silk/satin stripe, cotton (lining),
A robe à l'Anglaise roundgown
of stripey goodness.
Completed August 2011.
In Williamsburg, Virginia.
More pics from this event can be found here.
In Annapolis, Maryland.
More pics from this event can be found here.
The Dress Diary:
June 24 2011
I'm throwing caution to the wind today and starting a new frock to wear to UTR on Sunday!! I do know better than to do these things but I can't help myself! To make things even more crazy I have a packed schedule most of tomorrow so I basically have today to make it. Bring on the padded cell!
I'm making my version of this stripey robe à l'Anglaise from Jefferson in Paris. Isn't it pretty? My fabric is a 1" stripe of olive green and rust. Yum!
Technically this won't be a one day wonder. I have been working on the mock-ups on and off (mostly off) for a couple of weeks now, tweaking my basic pattern a bit to accommodate the stripes and a separately cut bodice (a opposed to an en fourreau). So today I start at the fabric cutting stage.
June 24 2011
What is better than stripes? Stripes on the bias!! Whoot!
*happy butt wiggle*
It took a bit of fiddling (and lots of double & triple checking) to do but it's pretty ridiculous how happy this makes me.
June 25 2011
The crazy dress is coming along. The stripes slowed me down a lot yesterday but the finished results are so worth it!
The bodice is done except for sleeves (pinned in), the button/buttonhole on the zone and hook & eyes. The dress skirt is ready to be pleated (then stitched to the bodice and hemmed) and the matching petticoat is the same. I don't have time to figure out the sleeve cuff so that will have to wait until CosCol. For now I've just hemmed it up but I'm thinking about adding a lace cuff tonight. We'll see...
So still quite a bit of work but I still think its doable. I'm busy today until 6pm but after than I can devote the evening to finishing it up. Hopefully it won't be too late of a night...
June 26 2011
No new dress.
I was doing so well and then hit a major wall pleating the skirt onto the bodice. It just wouldn't work. In the wee hours on the morning, after working on it for over 3 hours without any tangible results, I decided that sleep was more important to having a good time today than a new dress.
Luckily I have a deep 18th century closet so I won't be naked or anything tonight. I'll just be in "this old thing". Looking on the bright side I now have a dress over halfway done for CosCol and next year's UTR. That is a good thing.
June 28 2011
So for my olive & rust striped robe à l'Anglaise (the one I didn't wear to UTR)- After thinking about it for a few days I've decided the gown's skirt is just too skimpy (which is why I was having such issues with the pleating). Especially after wearing my extravagantly full blue print and Diva frocks this weekend I don't want a skimpy skirt. So I'm going to have to sacrifice my matching petticoat to the dress. Ahh fashion is a hard mistress!
So I have two options:
1. Make the dress a round gown . There will be just enough fabric to do it. My Bellini dress is a roundgown so I know I like this style. Only thing is I can't ever polonaise the skirt like my original inspiration. Is that really a deal-killer though?
2. Make a coordinating petticoat. I actually already have fabric for this, a browny/rust shot faux taffeta I bought thinking I wouldn't have enough for a matching petticoat (I got a great deal on it!). Thing is I now have my heart set on a matching skirt. It's so elegant, slimming and rather more appropriate for my late 1780s outfit. Still it would solve the polonaise issue and I would put a deep ruffle on it. I love me a ruffled petticoat!
Maybe I should drape everything on the dress form and see if that will make my decision for me. What do you think? *ponders*
June 29 2011
So the debate with myself over what to do about my olive/rust anglaise fabric shortage issue is over - a round gown it is! All it took was some draping on Narcissa and I was sold. The coordinating brown petticoat is no where as nifty looking. So what if you can't polonaise a roundgown. It's a compromise in design I can SO live with when the alternative is that pretty.
It's going to totally need some huge headwear though. I'm thinking a frilly cap inspired by Sarah & Kendra (those two have so much to answer for!). I really want a ginormous black Gainsbourgh but I'm not sure I'm feeling up to the challenge of getting it to LA. We'll see.
July 2 2011
I've been working on the round-gown skirt pleating the last couple of evening and finally got the back done last night.
I went from skimpy to almost-too-much-fabric so it took me a little bit to adjust! Now the back skirt is super full, even fuller than the Diva and the Bellini - fun!
Now I just need to stitch it down...
July 7 2011
Despite my radio silence I have been sewing in-between Real Life (TM), holidays and commission work.
So I spoke a little too soon with the olive/rust anglaise pleats. When I went to properly pin them down, in preparation to stitching them, there was some weird bunching and odd angles at the point. Merh. I decided the fact that I was trying to use a straight length of fabric for a dramatic point might be the culprit so I took out the pleats, cut a point in my fabric and carried on. I ended up having to make multiple cuts to get it right but in the end I got it to where I was content. (Did I mention my perfectionism has a very love/hate relationship with tiny pleats?)
So the back pleats are now stitched down and the front pleats pinned. A waistband & hem and I have a wearable dress but I needed to switch focus for a couple of days...
July 11 2011
The Green/Rust striped Anglaise is just determined to be un-friendly. When I tried it on to mark the hem tonight I discovered that it was on the verge of being too short on the sides without doing anything. (Actually this happened on my Bellini too - Note to self when making a roundgown cut the front panels longer than usual.)
Unfortunately all I have left of the fabric is a small bag of scraps - I don't know that I have enough to piece it. I could possibly use some of that brown faux taffeta I didn't make into a petticoat... would it look too funny to have a ½-1" band of almost matching brown at the bottom though? It doesn't seem a very 18th century thing to do but I'm not sure I have another option at this point…
Time to stop work, ponder and make decision in the morning when I'm fresh...
July 12 2011
It took way longer than it should have but the Green/Rust Anglaise is officially done! I ended up piecing the front of the hem to fix the length issue. (I love that piecing is period!) It took quite a bit of brain wattage to get the fabric I needed out of the small bag of scraps I had left from this project. So glad I hadn't thrown anything away yet! Luckily I was able to use some of the pieces I had to cut off the back section of the hem to shape it correctly. Whew!
After all that piecing the hem is a bit of a mess up close/underneath (so nobody gets to see it!) but with the "3 foot rule" applied it's fine. Eventually I'll finish the inside with bias tape and add some ribbon or trim to the hem to cover the horizontal piecing seam but that is a project for after CosCol. I have many other time-consuming and more important fish to fry in the next 15 days!
August 7 2011
Thanks to a bout of food poisoning I didn't end up wearing this dress to Costume College 2011. I just wasn't feeling up to dressing up and this was the dress that didn't get worn. *is sad* Oh well - I'll wear it next time!