Re-made Spring Anglaise (Photoshoot)

It took me more than a month to get the necassary components togeter for a photoshoot (free time, 1 sister to photograph, 1 sister to take care of the toddler and nice weather…), but yesterday we did manadge to take some nice new photos of my re-made “Spring Anglaise”.

I’m wearing the dress over a white skirt, quilted petticoat, bumpad, stays, chemise, stockings and my beloved Kensington shoes from American Duchess. I’m also wearing a curly wig and my new Bergere hat.



Photo by: Maria Petersson

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Re-make of the “Spring Anglaise”

You know the dress that got rushed and didn’t turned out the way you liked?
Or maybe the fit wasn’t perfect, or the matching trim didn’t quite match after all.
Or maybe you just learned so much lately that what seamed pretty good to you before, just won’t cut it anymore?

We all got one (or more) dresses/costumes that we just can’t seem to love.

That’s exactly how I feel about my “Spring Anglaise“.

I love the fabric and the style, but for some reson I never cared much for the finished dress.
I’d say it is the styling combined with the fit that makes it look… of.. at least in these pictures.
But why don’t I love the dress itself then?

It’s for exactly this reason that it’s been sitting in my wardrobe un-loved and un-wanted for quite some time now.
I even thought about selling it, but decided I didn’t want to sell something I wasn’t completely happy about.

But then something happened.

It all started earlier this summer when I decided I wanted to attend a event, to which this dress would be perfect
– if only I could get it to work.

So I dug it out the closet, and gave it another try on.
Still not loving it… :-/

So I put it aside in favour for another dress I do like (the striped Anglaise/Turque), and which I’ve worn two times before.

But I couldn’t put it to rest completely, and a few days before the event I decided to see if I could fix it.

So I ripped the gown apart and started from scratch (sort of, since all pieces was already cut.)
After removing all (hand-stitched) seams I pressed the pieces flat with the new iron I got from my boyfriend for my birthday a month or so ago.   quite the difference

Even though the dress originally was completely hand stitched, I decided to use the machine this time since the few days I had was quickly running out.

I started by stitching together and tried on the lining (as you would a mock-up) to see what I could do to make it fit better.

It needed to be taken in a bit, and the under arm needed to be lowered, but other than that the fit was quite good.

This time I decided to baste a cotton interlining to the bodice pieces of the fashion fabric (instead of just to the lining as done before), and I think that made a huge difference in the way the pleats and fabric looked once stitched.

The pleating of the back was a bit tricky but, after some fiddeling I got it to lie nice and flat.

Then I stitched on the sleeves, added some boning at the center back and front, attached the skirt and rows of hooks and eyes for the clouser.

Lastly I re-pleated and attached the trimmings around the neckline and cuffs.

And then it was done (and I even had a *whole night to spare before the event) Worn with a white fichu, petticoat and cap as it would during the light party.

The finished dress:










Worn with the skirt down:

The facts:

What: Re-make of a 1780s Robe anglaise made from IKEA fabric/bedsheets.

Original blog posts: Construction and photoshoot

Additional fabrics and notions: 0,5 m of white cotton from stash and thread. Accessorized with a red velvet ribbon and a old brosch.

Additional costs: about 20 Sek for the cotton sheet

Time: 8 hours ro re-make

First worn: On August 26 (2017) at Ljung castle Light party

Final thoughts: I’m so happy I took the time to re-make this gown because I love how it looks now, and I feelt so pretty wearing it. Hopefully it will be worn several times more.

*That “whole night left” part wasn’t completely true since I also decided I wanted a Bergere hat, and needed to re-hem the petticoat. But the dress itself was finished one day before 🙂

Re-make a pair of bodice (HSM 2/2017)

I tend to think these “make-do/repair/re-make – challenges” are pretty boring. And I never know what to make and feel kind of uninspired by the whole thing.

But then something always happens.

I guess it’s due to my ever growing costume wardrobe, and my inpatients (often pressed by deadlines) to get stuff finished, that I always end up with several entry’s for the “re-make” HSM challenges.

The first one, this time, is the fixing up of my 16th century “Pair of bodice” (corset) that I made as one of my first historic pieces back in 2013.
2013-03-01 14.33.57Mighty proud back then

Since I’ve long been dreaming of expanding my 16th century wardrobe (and just recently got both patterns and a lovely black wool for a robe) I decided it was time to go through the existing pieces to make sure they where up to speed.

2013-02-09 15.45.57 2013, and just starting to ventur into the world of historic costuming

 
February 2017, and still a novice (tough a bit more knowable)
The corset fit me almost the same as back in 2013, but that was not enough anymore.
It needed to be fixed.

Here is how it looked before I dug my seam-ripper into it.

The first thing I did was to take my measurements, and they tuned out (as I expected) to be the exact same with and without the corset on. I know that the 16th century silhouette don’t call for any sliming of the torso, but a column to get the right look of the garment. But despite that I wanted to minimize my “column” as much as possible – Oh the vanity…

One of the biggest problem in this was the thick (2-3mm) plastic zip-ties I used to completely bone the bodice.
They build on to the outside of the corset to give me the bigger/same size as un-laced.

So they had to go.

Or at least most of them.
After I unripped the bias tape covering the upper edge, I removed every other bone at the front, all bones at the sides and only left a few ones a the back. I also cut the remaining bones down a god cm to make them fit better into the channels.
Cutting down the plastic boning.

Once the bones was gone I faced another problem – now the whole thing was a bit to big…

So I grabbed my seam-ripper, and got to work removing the piecing I added for exactly the same (opposite?) reason when I made the bodice.

Once almost all the upper binding was removed, I also took the opportunity to shorten the shoulder straps.

By now the corset looked like some kind of roadkill, with everything hanging lose and the big pile of boning sticking out. 

 Quality control by my tiny “helper”

Then all that was left was to stitch everything back again.

The finished Pair of bodice:


All the facts:

Challenge: nr 2/2017 – Re-make

What: The re-make of my 16th century “Pair of bodice”

How It fit the challenge: I re-made the pair of bodice to better fit my current skill and body, making it a lot more likely I will actually wear them. I also got a lot leftover boning from the fix-up, that I can use for other projects down the line.

Pattern: None

Fabric/Notions: Thread

How historical accurate: Not at all except the shape. The whole thing is made with machine, in synthetic brocade using both plastic boning and metal eyelets (so sorry you guys…). But it is a clear example of how my knowledge and skill have grown and since they will never be seen, it don’t bother me as much as it probably should. about 3/10.

Time/Cost: About 3 hours and it didn’t cost me a thing (of one thing I gained a few cents with the opportunity to re-use the left over bones).

First worn: Beginning of Mars for photos

Finished thoughts: I’m happy that I now might finally wear them 🙂

***

And here’s a complimentary “striptease” 🙂

photos by: Elin Evaldsdotter