Here in Sweden November’s been darker then usual and it seems we just broke the record for less hours of sun, counting only 2 hours of sun during the whole past month.
No wounder we all feel and look like living dead by now. (and Winter is coming…)
So today I decided it was time to get some costuming sun, by showing of my newest gown – inspired by fresh spring flowers…
Last year I bought this fabric from IKEA (hm, must be my, 5th dress, or something made by fabric/curtains/bed-sheets from that store).And a month ago I dug it out from my stash determent to make it into something 18th century.
I used an old pattern and made some minor alterations like moving the shoulder seam, and remade the sleeve.
I basted the lining to the interlining and stitched the bodice together for a try on.
After lowering the neckline a few cm, I put the bodice on my dress-form and started covering it with the fashion fabric.
What: a 1780s robe Anglaise
Pattern: I drafted my own using a old self made pattern as a starting point..
Fabric: 1 white flowery printed cotton bed sheet from IKEA (approximately 3,5 x 1,5 m), 0,5 m regular white cotton for lining and 0,5 m heavy upholster fabric for interlining.
Notions: Thread, 11 pair of hook and eyes and 1,5 m of plastic boning.
Time: Since it is completely hand stitched the amount of time is much higher then my usual projects. I will take a educated guess at 25 hours counting low.
Cost: About 200 Sek (32 Usd). Everything from stash.
Final Thoughts: I’m not thrilled about it.
The back pleating looks a bit sad, and the en fourreau back is not one of my greatest accomplishments. I think I will have to re-make the entire back of the gown before wearing it for real.
I also think the front point should be longer and more pronounced, even if that’s something I can live with for now.
I do however like the shape and setting of the newly drafted sleeves. And the fabric of this gown just look so soft and beautiful.
This picture post contains even more photos then usually, since I insisted on a second photshoot after I’d properly shortened the petticoat. You can actually see the skirts different lengths in many of these photos.
And once again a big thanks sis, for always helping me photograph and never complaining (even when I get frustrated at my own lack in modeling skills, and crappy wig work ;-)) I really appreciate it.
Iv’e been sewing a lot lately, crossing several new and a few old projects of my list.
I stated, when first starting this project – I will only sew, while my boyfriend watches sport on our Television.
Well that didn’t last very long…
I had way to much to do during the spring, and there was no way I could set aside all the other projects just because there was some game playing in the other room.
But to my defense this year I’ve endured both an Olympics and a World Championchip in football, so I’m pretty sure the dress would have been finished long ago if I’d stucked to the plan.
Anyhow, lets take a look at my final construction notes and finished pictures:
Where I left of last time I had just cut the fabric and begun to put he bodice together.I basted the side and shoulder seams. Stitched the three back seams down, doing small back stitches from the outside.The back stitched down.
Pattern: None, I draped my own.
Fabric: 2,5 m of printed cotton, 0,5 m brown cotton for lining and 0,5 m thick canvas for interlining.
Notions: Thread, hooks and eyes, 0,6 m plastic boning for the front and some small pieces of ribbon for the “bustle effect”.
Time: I would guesstimate about 20 hours, but I started it in January (working on it only while my boyfriend watched some kind of sport on Tv) so I can’t be sure.
Cost: About 100 Sek (16 Usd) since the fabric was on sale.
Final thoughts: I really like this dress. I think it looks lovely and make me feel good wearing it. I’m already dreaming of going to a 18th century masked ball dressed in this gown and posing as “Autumn”.
Although looking at the pictures of me wearing it, I notice the huge amount of wrinkles occurring at the under arm/bust era, and at the back waist. I think I will have to go back and re-check the fit.
Yesterday I went to the beautiful park by the castle Haga in Stockholm to attend a costuming picknic (wich I will tell you about in my next post). And as it was the first outing for my new striped Robe Anglaise I made sure to get some good photos of me wearing it.
So here you go – my newest gown beautifully depicted by my sister using the enviroment of the park as a backdrop.
Trying to pose with a harp, but with a tree…
Photo: Maria Petersson
When the 10th HSF challenge – Art, was announced I didn’t need to think for long. I emetetly knew I wanted to make the Rose Adélaïde Ducreuxs dress fom her “self portraite whit a harp”.I even took the opurtunity to make the skirt and fichu from the portrait for a previous challenge, to be able to only focus on the dress for this one.
My original plan was to make the gown entierly by hand, but time ran out and life interupted, and on top of that I’m starting to think it is a waist of time to hand stich a gown in the wrong material. so, after some back and fort, I decided to make it by machine. (And boy am I happy about that decision now…)
I then sewed the bodice togeter and tried it on to check the front closeur.
And as you can se the front lines dont match up. So to fix that I needed to adjust the center front line and make a buttonhole placket. This metod is usaly a big no no in sewing but time was sparse and I’ve already manadged to mach the stripes pretty good, so I did’nt want to adjust the side seams.
Then I started on the button and buttonholes, also hand stitched. They are not as neat and pretty as I would have liked but they will have to do. And I even needed to use some fabric glue on the buttons to keep them from snapping apart.
It was about here I noticed that something was of with the front piece interfacing. While basting the layers togeter I’ve manadged to put the interling as outer fabric, then stich the hole bodice up like that and on top of that make the buttonholes. Darn it.
Well there wasn’t much to do then go on pretending that the twill was supose to be the outer fabric. Fortanly, no other part of the bodice was white so the only thing revealing my mistake is the linnen covered buttons…
So I continued by cuting and setting the lining, using a regular white cotton fabric.
Before the next try on I pinned the sleeves on losely to get a grip on their placement.
Unfortanly the sleeves were the last things I noticed when I put it on – The stupid bodice was way to smal. I tightened my corset all I could, and did manadged to close all the buttons. Only now the bodice looked horrible and the stresslines were pulling all over the front.
Then I pinned and sewed the sleeves. The insertion was an easy one, but the deciding on the sleeve trim was a bit harder. In the end I decided to stepp away from the inspiration and go with my guts and use a smaler design then originaly planed.
Now it was time for the skirt. I sewed the pannels together and hand stiched lines of gatering thread, to get them nice and even al over the skirt. Then I pulled the skirt waist togeter and pinned it to the bodice, using the zone front as a mark were to start the skirt.
The sewing was abit tricky, geting all the fabric to lay smothly.
The final touches was to finish of the arm hole, tuck down the lining and stich on some Busteling-ties to make it an “Polainese”.
Just the Facts:
Challenge: nr 10 – Art
What: a 1780s robe Anglaise.
Inspiration: Rose Adélaïde Ducreux “self portarit with a harp”.
Pattern: I draped my own, using Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion” as a guide.
Fabric: 4 m of striped white/green cotton, 0,5 m of white linnen, 0,5 m of white twill for interlining, 0,5 m of white cotton sheet for lining and 0,3 m of white dotted organdy for sleeve cuffs.
Notions: Thread, 10 self covered buttons, 1 m plastic boning, 5 cm cottin string.
How historical accurate: The shape and look of the garment are ok, but it is compleatly machine made with modern tecniques. I dind’t had the time or the money for a compleatly hand made silk dress.
Time: On and of for two weeks – maybe 15-20 hours.
Cost: about 300 Sek (48Usd). All fabrics were stash and bought on sale.
First worn: Not yet, but will be (pared with the White entries) next weekend for the huge historical picknick i the capital.
Final thoughts: The dress are not an exact copie of the one in the portrait, but I do think it looks pretty good. I’m a bit anoyed about the stress wrinkels on the front bodice, but with the time constriant am glad I manadged to finish it of at all. Tomorrow I will give it a real try out and se if it passes the test.
Later when browsing the internet for other similarly striped gowns, I noticed they were very popular in costuming circles but not that comon in museums.
Some lovely costumes.
When it comes to the paintings the examples where even fewer. Except for my original inspiration picture I only found two paintings, and one sporting somewhat striped gowns.
I thought it is about time to give you an update on my sewing game against my boyfriend (Sport Vs Sewing).
Well I need to confess – I have had no chanse in hell, to stand up to his television sports with my sewing.
First I had the big Opera 1880s gown to finish in january, making me decide to post-pone the game a month, to february – which turned out to be even more filled with sport (Olympic games anyone). And between some comissions and the HSF14 I really stuggeled to get enything done on the “Sports Anglaise”.
So while the Olympics hockey games played on our television I finaly grabbed myself and got to work.
Putting my 18th century corset, bumroll and petticoat on my dressform, I started to drape a pattern.
As usual it needed some changes. Like taking out about 6cm in the shoulder straps, and adding about 3 cm in lenght to the waist. I also needed to re-adjust the center back seam to get a nice and smooth line.
Tally: 2 hockey games = draping a pattern, making a mock-up, cutting the fabric and pinning the pieces togheter.