keskiviikko 21. syyskuuta 2011

1770's robe à l'Anglaise retroussée

Edited: I have corrected the term for this kind of gown from the robe à l'Anglaise à la Polonaise I originally used after reading Kendra's informative post.

The dress is made of 18th century reproduction fabric purchased from Duran Textiles. The dress is lined with fine linen and hand sewn with linen thread. I left it unboned. It's worn over two plain linen petticoats, the previously presented false rump, late 18th century stays and shift and the recently finished shoes, stockings and garters. Everything has been sewn by hand.

(I bought the fabric in 2006 and the fabric I got back then was silk taffeta in texture. I have seen this same fabric in a retail shop earlier this year and judging by that they have since then changed the fabric in to a slubbed silk, like dupioni, but very fine quality with small and few slubs. The slubs are more or less hidden by the dots and stripes of the fabric and the fabric is still absolutely gorgeous. It could also be that it was just that one lot that was different. I just wanted to let you know if there is anyone considering to buy and is picky about these things, that the quality of the silk might vary.)

The fan was purchased from
It's painted on a paper leaf and the sticks are bone. I highly recommend her products.


The bodice seaming was based loosely on the late 1770's robe à l'Anglaise in The Cut of Women's Clothes 1600-1930. I cut the fabric for the petticoat and the robe to period width panels and sewed them together with a running stitch, five panels each. The top of the petticoat was folded in a sloping shape to even the hem and to accommodate a bumroll. The folded edge was then pleated and whip stitched to tapes to tie the petticoat on. The robe bodice lining was then sewn together. The silk bodice pieces were mounted on top and back stitched from the outside, edges finished with the stitch with the fancy name, le point à rabattre sous la main. The underside of the sleeves were sewn from the inside through all layers and top sleeve from the outside through all layers except for the silk shoulder piece that was sewn down last.

Skirts of the robe were also folded to shape, pleated and whip stitched to the bottom edge of the bodice. The robe is "polonaised" through silk tape loops and ties.  The bodice closes with hooks and eyes with no overlap.

I decorated the dress with pinked self fabric strips. I used a reproduction pinking tool and was very pleased with the results.

The strips were then gathered using a whip stitch and then attached to the dress with running stitches.

I had a piece of very old handmade lace that I added to the neckline and sleeves. And I made decorative bows from dark brown silk taffeta.

The large pouf hairstyle was made over a large rat and a few hairpieces were needed to complete it.

15 kommenttia:

  1. What an absolutely GORGEOUS ensemble: every bit is just perfect! It's so beautiful, and so beautifully made. I'm having total costume envy!

    And your shoes *swoon*. I noticed them right away and peered at the pictures as closely as I could to try to find out where on earth you got them from, and then to find out you make them! You are amazing!

  2. I've already admired your breathtakingly beautiful outfits at LJ for quite a while.
    You really seem to master the art of stepping back in time. Highly inspiring and very talented!!!


  3. Thank you both very much!

    And I'm happy to find your inspiring blogs now as well. :)

  4. Stunning work! The ensemble is so perfectly done that you look like a painting! Truly marvelous work indeed.

    Where did you find your reproduction pinking tool? I've been searching for years and haven't been able to find anyone making them any more. :-(

  5. I'm absolutely floored by your work! It's amazing! The gown is gorgeous, the shoes are fantastic, and I'm blown away by the fact that you made them yourself.

  6. Thank you all!

    Rebecca, I bought it few years ago from

  7. Wow, what an amazing costume ! It's been years since I last see such a beautifull cut. Congratulations !

  8. What a perfectly lovely polonaise. The fabric of the gown, the hat, the hair, the stockings, the shoes... it is all just divine!
    Also the composition of the photographs is stunning. Beautiful summery setting. You are fortunate to have such lovely locations to take your photos!

  9. You should definitely come to Vaux le Vicomte one day!

  10. Are the shoes from American Duchess? They also have the period hosiery.

    1. I have a thing for making things the hard way so I made both, the shoes and the stockings myself. American Duchess has a very good looking collection of footwear and if I wouldn't be so interested in making them, I would very likely own some of the products already.

  11. Kirjoittaja on poistanut tämän kommentin.