sunnuntai 9. huhtikuuta 2017

Hand painted robe à la Française, late 1750's to early 1770's

Late last year I had the honor of receiving an invitation to a 1757 reenactment in March 2017 in Zeilitzheim. I knew I wanted a new saque for the occasion as I had worn my cream gown so many times already. I also knew I didn't want another solid color gown. Appropriate silk brocade is difficult to find. And if you do, it always costs a fortune. While looking for inspiration, this gown gave me the idea to paint some silk to make a colourful gown while staying on budget.

The gown is made of duchess silk satin painted with Deka silk paints. It has a linen lining and the self fabric trim is edged with looped passementerie trim. It's completely hand sewn with linen and silk thread.

It's worn over shift, stays, pocket hoops and two linen petticoats. For the photos I styled it to fit early 1770's style.

I wasn't able to finish the gown before I left to Germany but I managed to make the stomacher and few other finishing touches while I was there and was able to wear it as planned on Saturday evening. There was only a very small mirror on our room, and the first time I was wearing the gown I hadn't even seen it on myself. That was a strange feeling. But, despite pinning it on a little hastily leaving some wrinkles, it turned out ok.

We wanted to concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than on taking photos, but I have these two as proof. I think the fabric and colors worked well in candlelight.


The gown was draped over a fitted lining with the help of my husband. I started by draping the back, then back skirts, bodice fronts, front skirts and then sleeves.

I left sleeve heads unneatened under robings.


I made six different floral stencils that I rotated as the work progressed. I outlined everything first and then painted the colors.

The flowers are based on three different painted 18th century gowns but my main inspiration was the gown in V&A museum.

This is a close up of the V&A gown:

And these are some of my versions

I noticed one particularly ugly flower in there so I had to have it in my dress too.