{JennylaFleur: Dress Diaries}

18th century gaulle

A Summer Gaulle
a chemise dress of the late 1780s

draped by me

cotton voile, cotton (lining)

A Gaulle or chemise à la Reine,
with a fitted back.

Completed June 2010.



The Results:


April 2011
At Costume Con 29.
More photos from this event can be found here.

{photo courtesy of ??}

{photo courtesy of Aubry}

{photo courtesy of Aubry}

{photo courtesy of Elizabeth}


August 2010
At Costume College.
More photos from the event can be found here.

{photo courtesy of Val}

{photo courtesy of Aubry}

{photo courtesy of Aubry}

{photo courtesy of Aubry}


June 2010
At my 18th century summer picnic.
More pics from this event can be found here.



{photo courtesy of Katherine}




The Dress Diary:


May 7 2010

Oh no I just made a gaulle tag ... guess I really am doomed to make one now. :P

May 8 2010

I think I may have found the perfect Gaulle fabric in the stash. I've been told the fabric wrinkles like heck so I'm trying to decide if a gaulle is the best choice. Ummm ...

June 14 2010

I decided to throw caution to the wind and use the wrinkle-prone fabric. This is supposed to be a comfy, fun frock for hot days. I don't think I'll care if it wrinkles.

So today is a cutting day. I have ruffles to cut for the commission (ruffles!) then I'm going to reward myself with cutting out my Gaulle. Yay!

June 20 2010

Despite getting a fair amount of work on the gaulle done it doesn't really look like I did much today.

I ironed and seamed up the front and skirt panels, finished the top edges of the same then ran gathering stitches. The cotton voile I'm using is super thin and doesn't really like my machine so it was pretty slow going. Still I'm hoping I can get it at least to the hemming stage tomorrow. That is the goal anyway ...

June 22 2010

I got a good amount of work done on the Gaulle yesterday, before an evening migraine and sleevils put a stop to it. *sigh*

I decided to construct it by putting together first the back, then the front, then lining them up and sewing them together along the front side seam. It worked really nicely!


The front panel was originally two panels of fabric but when I tried it on it was way too much fabric - 45" turned out to be just right amount after all! I decided to be a little different from the repros I've seen and gathered a bit of the front panel along the shoulder strap before starting the drawstring front. I also didn't shape the front neckline piece at all, just gathered it up a little looser and allowed gravity to take over. The drawstring is totally ghetto - I zigzagged the top edge, folded it over once and stitched. So lazy - but hey it works!


I then tried it on, without stays, mostly to check the skirt front (which is just the right length without a hem, opps), the placement of the waist (which should be slightly high) and to figure out where the sleeves should go (since I'm mixing and matching patterns, hence no matching notches). I have to say I ADORE this frock. I wasn't so sure about it until I tried it on and added the wide sash. It's super fun and girly to wear, helped a great deal by the heaps of fullness (well 4 panels of fabric!) in the back. Add a full petticoat and a bum roll of doom and this gaulle might inch out my peach chemise à la reine as my favorite summer frock. :>

The hem ... came out a bit short, just like on my chemise à la reine- what is up with me and the gathered front frocks! I'm thinking a false hem (maybe cut on the bias to take advantage of my stripes) or maybe even a little 1.5" ruffle. To be honest I haven't seen ruffles on gaulles or chemise à la reines but I have seen them on petticoats of the period. Is that too far a stretch do you think?


{from Marie Antionette}

{from Marie Antionette}

I thought the waist looked a little low in back at first but after double checking the gaulle in Marie Antoinette it looks the same to me so I don't know. Ponders ...

The sleeves. *sigh* After I took these pics I basted one in place (with pins) and tried it on again. Somehow they are off, there is too much fabric in the front and not enough in the back, almost like the top of the sleeve is backward. But I know it's not because that would make all the elbow darts backward. This is the sleeve I used on my red silk anglaise in Jan - it doesn't make any sense that it would be wrong. I'm going to try it on again with stays this time to see if that makes a difference. If it continues to be a butt head for much longer I may just switch to the two-piece long sleeve, which is probably more accurate anyway. I was just thinking for a hot summer day + badminton, the one-piece three quarter sleeve might be more comfy.

Stupid sleeves.

June 22 2010   

{from Marie Antionette}

{from Marie Antionette}

{from Marie Antionette}

{from Marie Antionette}


You know it occurs to me that I haven't actually talked about what a Gaulle is or posted my inspiration for this project. Gaulle is the original name for what we more commonly know now as a chemise à la Reine.

{c1780-95, Met}

{c1780-95, Met}

{gaulle by MLD Designs}

{gaulle by MLD Designs}


I'm making a variation on the style. Instead of being a big tube of gathered fabric like the traditional gaulle/chemise à la Reine, it has a fitted back with a gathered front. I assume this variation had a name in the period but I haven't been able to figure out what that is. Burnley & Trowbridge call it a "quartered-back gown with a drawstring front" but that is a little clumsy for me. I'll stick with "gaulle variation" I think. :>

{gaulle by Demode}

{gaulle by Mode Historique}

{gaulle by Mode Historique}

{from The Duchess}

June 22 2010

Not only was it a migraine free night (hallelujah!) but the Sleevils have been conquered, and without having to recut them even! *happy butt wiggle*

So sleeve hems, sleeve ruffles, a skirt hem and the Gaulle is done. Well I still have to make a white petticoat for it but really how easy is that? And what this is only Tuesday night, I don't have to wear this until Monday - I LOVE this frock!

*more happy but wiggling*

June 23 2010

I didn't get as much done as I wanted today. I worked on the much needed ruffled under petticoat - got the petticoat seamed, pleated and waistbanded, it just needs a hem. Got the ruffle for the petticoat hemmed and gathered, just waiting on that hem to attach it.

The gaulle hem is marked, just need to work on that and adjust the fit of the bottom of the sleeve (a bit tight , needs to be let out a hair). *sigh* So just bits and bobs I could have plowed through without a headache appearing at dinner time like that. Stupid headache.

June 24 2010

The Gaulle is all finished - yay! Complete with a rather nice hem and a bit of organza ribbon at the sleeves. I can't wait to wear it on Monday!!

Now on to the ruffled petticoat ...

July 1 2010

My new frock! I'm completely in love with my new gaulle, or chemise gown.

It was so cool and comfortable and I felt amazing in it. I think I need about 5 more now!



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