tiistai 1. marraskuuta 2011

1760's robe à la Française

This has never been my favorite style for 18th century, but it's a classic and I wanted to give it a try. It's made of cream silk taffeta and lined with linen. I used cream silk thread for sewing. It's worn over the previously introduced shift, stockings shoes and stays, linen pocket hoops with willow hoops and two linen petticoats. All hand sewn. The lace I used for the sleeve flounces and top edge of the stomacher is a beautiful cream colored antique hand made bobbin lace that unfortunately has small holes all over it. Luckily the holes don't show much even from close distances and looking at the delicate lace pattern makes me happy when I move my arms.

The winter is approaching and the weather is mainly rather cold and windy, but I persuaded my husband to take the camera and came outside with me to take the pictures. I had a hat, but it was impossible to wear it as the wind was blowing so hard. Most of the pictures ended up looking like the first one, but we managed to take quite a few decent ones to capture the dress and you are about to see probably too many of them.

I was so glad I decided to line the mitts with leather. They were very warm.

The construction:

I started with the silk petticoat. I sewed together the skirt panels with running stitches and hemmed the bottom edge. Then I pleated the top of the skirt in a sloping shape to even the hem over pocket hoops. The top was then pleated and whipped in to the ties.

Then I made a linen lining and fitted it. At this point I left the shoulder seams unattached. 

Then I sewed together the robe panels.

I pleated the back to fit the lining.

I cut off the excess.

Then I cut an approximately shaped front bodice pieces, the robing side on selvedge. I ironed the robing folds and had my husband to help me fit and pin the pieces in place. I sewed the bodice pieces in to the lining from the outside using back stitching. I pleated and sewed the skirt to fit the bodice and had the husband mark the hem.

I drafted sleeves and sewed them partially on leaving the top part still free. In this following picture I'm trying on a first sleeve (that I didn't like).

The second sleeves were sewn on the same manner, the underside seam on the inside of the gown and the sleeve top from the outside. The robing covers the raw edge.

Then I made the stomacher and pinked the trimming.

I used whipped gathers for gathering and attached the trimming with widely spaced running stitches.

The dress closes by pinning the stomacher in to the stays and then pinning the gown to the stomacher under the robings.