Long lasting Robe a La Franchaise – Photoshoot

Once the Robe a la Francaise finally was finished, I couldn’t wait to get it photographed. So I asked my sister to help me take some pic (on one of the windiest day no doubt).

I’m wearing the newly finished Robe Francaise, over matching petticoat, regular petticoat, Panniers, Stays, chemise, stockings, “Kensington” American Duchess shoes, a masquerade wig, pearl bracelet and a lace fan.

Inspiration Me and Madame Pompadour
Pictures by: Elin Evaldsdotter 

A video of the dress in motion (viwes best without sound)

And a bonus one where I’m “Bounching” and busting a pin in the stomacher

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Long lasting Robe a La Francaise – Construction

When I started this project back in 2014 I never thought it would take this long to get it done, (then, a bit later I thought I would never finish) But here it finally is, My long awaited Robe a la Francaise.

As mentioned this project took it’s sweet time to get finished, and it all started with this:
A pink/flower/striped polyester satin found in the bargain bin at my local fabric store.
I immediately though it would be perfect for a Francaise, and bought the while bolt (8-9m)

Then it rested a while in my stash while I finished some other projects and gathered the courage to actually get on with it.

The intention was to make something like these

The project then started in 2014 when I made my 18th century long stays, and then cut into the fabric to make the skirt/petticoat for the dress.The first version of this petticoat paired with my (then) newly made stays.

In jan 2015 I continued the project by making my “Panniers of pain” (and getting started on the actual robe)

Along the way the petticoat have evolved a bit and here is the final result after some additional tweaking of the hip-pleats, hem and adding of some decoration.

In January 2015 I started on the robe by drafting the pattern, making the mock-up and cutting the fabric.

I spent so manny hours hand-stitching the pieces, draping the pleats, adding the lining, and making the lacing holes, that I eventually tried of the whole thing.
(the curse of the creative – always got to move on to new exiting things).

Then, in Jan 2017 I picked them up again, and continued by adding the sleeves, and making (and adding) all the trimmings.
 The firs try on after 2 years (and 1 baby) – and it fits like a glove :-D.

But then I got stuck on how to best solve the tapering of the sleeve flounce, and since I no longer felt the excitement over neither the fabric nor the gown itself the project once more went back in the closet.

Unfortunately all y pictures from the construction (from 3 years past) got lost in a computer crash in mars, (It wasn’t even the damn computer that crashed – but the extern memory/safety backup where I kept all the old pictures:-( – how is that even possible) and all I got left are these who happened to be on my phone.

In June, however, my interest returned when I found this picture:

“Portrait of a lady” (thought to be Madame de Pompadour) by François-Hubert Drouais

Whoa!
So close!

And once more the excitement came rushing back.

So I spent a few more hours finishing the lace flounces and decorating the stomacher, and that was that.

The Finished Francaise:

Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 8/2017 – Ridiculous
 – Fashion is sometimes a little silly, and historical fashions can look particularly odd. Make something that was considered outrageous in its own time, or is just utterly ridiculous to modern eyes.

What: A 1760s Robe a la Francaise

How it fit the challenge: The special shape of the Robe Francaise, with its wide hips/panniers and full back pleats makes it instantly recognizable for the modern viewer as a piece from one of the most exaggerated part of history. Both the shape and the “fru fru” trimmings are cause for ridicule and head-scratching in our time, even if it was a more common and sought after sight back in the 18th century.

Pattern: I draped my own based on drawings from Waughs “Cut of Womens Clothes” and Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion”

Fabric: 6-7 m of a thick flowery/striped polyester satin, 0,5 m cotton twill for interlining and 0,5m white cotton for lining.

Notion: Thread, 2 m cotton cord for lacing, 3 m plastic bones for back opening and stomacher, about 20m of thin cotton lace for the trimming, 5 m of 15 cm whide cotton lace fro the sleeve ruffles and 5 buttons for decoration on the stomacher.

How historical accurate: So so. The fabric are polyester (should have been silk), the pattern and construction method are ok since its draped for my (corseted) body and entirely hand sewn. The print on the fabric is a bit to modern, but as shown in the above portrait not to far of. The business of the design/print are totally accurate even though it may seem a bit over the top for our modern sensibilities. I’ll give it a 7/10

Time: Waaay to long… I started this project in the autumn 2014, the again winter 2014/2015, and again winter 2016/2017 and only now (summer 2017) got around to finish it. I spend somewhere between 100-150 hours on the dress.

Cost: Not sure but I’ll guesstimate about 600 Sek (75Usd).

First worn: For photos in late July

Final thoughts: I’m so happy that it is finished! And even though there is some things I liked to have made differently I think it is spectacular, and it’s so fun to wear.

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For this project I alos made a Masquerade wig to match my gown.

It’s made from a re-styled and powdered halloween wig.

The finished wig:
pic from before the photoshoot

18th century/Regency Dance recital

In the end of April my dance team attended a the local event called “dance week”, where teams and dancers from all genres in dance.

The theme was 18th century/regency and we all dressed in our favorite costumes. I wore my new regency Round Gown (which I only just finished that same morning…)

We had a short recital and then invited the on-lockers to participate for a few dances.

The whole event was pretty low key, with only a few on-lockers, but it felt good to once more dress up and move my ever growing body.

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IMG_6027Together with some of the interested public.

IMG_6118The whole team gathered.

Regency Round Gown – Construction

Long time no seen.
I´ve been living in my bubble for the past couple of months, but I have been creating some small tings while taking a break from blogging.

In the beginning of April, I got into my head that maybe I should join the dance team for one last performance before my time was due.
The recital was a 18th century/Regency themed one, set to April 24 (two weeks from then) – and I had nothing to wear.

You would think I’d be able to use one of my regency dresses (with lots of space for my growing belly), but unfortunately some other parts of me had grown as well (yes I´m talking to you, boobs), and there was no way I could close any of my old dresses.

So, a new one it is…

I’ve long been planing to make a regency/transitional round gown, and this was my chance.
Not only would it be perfect for accommodating my growing belly, but later it would also work as an “easy to access” nursing gown. Perfect!rd10

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I used the pattern from “Cut of Womens clothes” as a guide for the draping and seam placement, and the “Laughing Moon” wrap front spencer pattern for the front bodice foundation.
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As usual I drafted the pattern and made a mock-up.
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Due to my growing belly, I could not use my regency stays, but trusted a modern sports bra to do the work – after all for this project comfort was a priority.

Once happy with the fit, I when’t through my stash and soon found exactly hat I was after – a beautiful flower viscose in different shades of blue. And the almost 2 m of it would be exactly enough to make the dress.
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I cut the lining in a lavender blue satin (also from stash) and began the assembly.IMG_9601

All the seams in the back melts together from the print, but I do like the structure it gives to the bodice non the les.
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Once the back pieces was ready, it was time to get working on the front.IMG_9615Draping the front pattern

Using two gathering treads, I collected and arranged the fabric at the shoulder and under bust seamIMG_9622

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Before and after gathering the width.

Once the basic shape was done I tweaked it a bit by raising the under bust seam and removing a few cm from the neckline.IMG_9630

I stitched the lining using darts for bust shaping, IMG_9609

and basted the lining to the outer fabric.
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Then I added the sleeves and skirt.IMG_9640 The first look at how it might look once done (skirt just basted at this point).

I tried the dress on, and it fitted like a (very soft and unbelievable comfortable) glove.
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IMG_9655Tiny belly showing…
All that remained was to add ties and buttonhole for clouser and to hem the dress.

But before I could take the dress out for a spin (literally) I needed to make myself a skirt to match, to prevent any mishaps in the “underwear showing through the front opening” category.

Said and done.
I cut two widths of the same lavender fabric and stitched them together.
I pleated the top to a waistband, added shoulder straps, clouser and finished it by hemming.

The finished skirt/petticoat:IMG_9661

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The finished dress:IMG_9669

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IMG_9682Back shoulder

IMG_9683Ties in the back

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Sneak a peak from the photoshoot;IMG_6187

Outlander Photoshoot

As soon as the last piece was finished, I took my new “Outlander” costume out for some photos.
My fiance helped me, and I must say he did a splendid job both photographing and keeping up the good cheer.

I’m wearing: My new 18th century woolen jacket & skirt over stays, petticoats, bumpad and chemise. And a modern knitted shawl, linen cap, knitted mittens (which where gifted to me by the lovely Helena – Thanks again, I love them) and a basket for accessorizes.

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18th century Outlander Garb

After studying the various looks of the character Clare in the series “Outlander”, comparing them to the fabrics from my stash I decided to go for the simple laced up jacket and skirt that’s became symbolic with the series.4714dc59393b6c63c5000f447531e4c3

I started by making a skirt out of some plaid wool I found in my stash (which I’ve bought on sale about a year ago).IMG_8618

The construction is really simple, since it’s basically two widths of the fabric sewn together and gathered to a waistband.IMG_8623I used some linen scraps for he hem facing and hooks and bars to close the waistband.

The finished skirt: IMG_8646

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Then I started on the bodice.
Using the pattern from the yellow caraco jacket, only changing the front to accommodate a stomacher instead of button closer, and adding a peplum at the bottom edge.

I used some leftover beige wool for the jacket, interlining it with some linen scraps and dark green wool for the stomacher – all made to match the plaid of the skirt.20150906_105227_resized

It went together pretty fast even though I made it completely by hand.IMG_8629

IMG_8628The peplum being attached.

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Trying the jacket on my dressform.

I attached the lining made from two different pieces f left over cotton sheets. IMG_8640

Then it was time for the eyelets to be made, using a separate fabric strip attached hidden under the boned front edge.20150919_183851

The finial thing to make was to ad channels and boning to the stomacher.IMG_8685

The skirt and jacket ready to be packed for the photoshoot. 20150920_125242

The finished outfit/jacket:IMG_8657

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Just the facts:

What: A 18th century jacket and skirt.

Pattern: The jacket is my own draft (yellow Caraco jacket), and the skirt is just two rectangles stitched together.

Fabric & Notions: Skirt – 2,2 m plaid wool, thread and hook & bar.
The bodice: 1 m beige(left over) wool, 1,5 m white cotton for lining and interning, m cotton cord, thread, buttonhole thread, 60 cm plastic boning.

Cost: Everything came from stash but 300 sek would be a fair calculation.

Time: Pretty fast for a complete hand made costume – about 20-25 hours for the whole outfit.

Final thoughts: I really like this outfit. It’s warm and cosy and I really enjoyed wearing it for the photoshoot.

The “Outlander” outfit:IMG_8652

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Outlander dress inspiration

This past year I’ve followed the fenomen of “Outlander” with interest.

I’ve watched the series, read the analysis and discussions about the costumes, and smiled at the world wide drooling over Sam Heughan.
And of course admired all the fabulous recreations of the clothing’s from the show.

But it wasn’t until recently I found myself dreaming of my very own highlander/Clare costume.
It started late august.
I was going through my fabric stash for some creative impulses, when I found a piece of lovely plaid wool, in shades of dark green and navy, that might be just enough for a full skirt.
And there, right beside, a piece of perfectly matching left over beige wool that wouldn’t be enough for anything more then a small jacket, perhaps 18th century…
Yep, you see where I’m going here.

So onto Pinterest I went:

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355cff34b471477934399d8c8a14a566One of few back views

113df6a2fa677ee4eb31bb5ccaf5f374Close-up showing the hooks and bars that keeps the stomacher in place.

c26db7014bdcad3b3995e84fc3b1a71bAnd you got to love the cosy knitwear.

Plastic Fantastic Purple Flower – Photoshoot

Even though I could’t attend the ” Plastique Fantastique” event last weekend, I still took the time to dress up for a  photoshoot.

I’m wearing my new Plastic purple flower dress, pair with a purple synthetic wig, high stockings, black Kensington shoes accessorized with fan gloves, jewelry and feathers. Underneath I wear my old 18th century corset, short bloomers and pocket hoops.

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IMG_5170Doll Antoinette

IMG_5212Photo: Elin Evaldsdottra