Monday, October 28, 2013

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LACMA Sacque-ma: Beginning the Robe

I've finally started in earnest on the LACMA Sacque-ma. For a reminder, because it's been too long since I posted about this, here's the original dress:

LACMA, 1765
I don't have any experience with Robes a la Francaise.  They scare the nickels out of me, honestly, but with the help of Patterns of Fashion 1 ,The Cut of Women's Clothes: 1600-1930 ,Period Costume for Stage & Screen, and Katherine's very very helpful sacque-draping tutorial, I think I may be getting somewhere.

Pinning and fiddling with the back pleats.
After I dyed the silk fabric, I starched and ironed it like a crazy person.  This resulted in a rather springy fabric that didn't want to fold into pleats easily, but with a bucketload of pins, and the brutal savagery of my steamer, I got the Watteau back to this point:


The back pleats aren't perfection, but they look pretty okay.  Now I'm messing with the front skirt pieces, which I believe is premature, as I should construct the front of the bodice first.  Here I have them pinned on.  I was struggling with the fall of the front edges, but in studying Janet Arnold's Francaise pattern, I found that it's *really* important to slant the front edges, otherwise, if done on the straight, the skirt will fall too flat over the petticoat, and not in that nice A line.

The left side is folded back so the piece angles; the right side is on the straight.
That's my progress for now. I'm a little nervous about running out of fabric for all the trims I'd like to do. It looks like this is going to be a use-every-scrap kind of project (which I find quite satisfying, really).  More later!
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22 comments:

  1. I love Watteau backs! They're just so regal. It looks wonderful so far!

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  2. Pretty!!! When are we going to see pictures from your wedding? I'm dieing to see you in your dress!!

    ~Gillian
    youngyankeelady.blogspot.com

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    1. The photographers said it would take 6 - 8 weeks before we get to see photos. I'm anxious too!

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    1. Thanks! I have no bloomin' idea what I'm doing, but if you think it looks good, I must be on the right track :-)

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    2. I have the most fun when I don't have a clue what I'm doing :)

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  4. That dress is GORGEOUS!!!! and on my list of things to someday sew, I shall follow your progress with enthusiasm... :D

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  5. Like I said, it's going to be SO gorgeous and I love the fabric, you did such wonderful job dyeing it because the color looks fabulous now! :) It seems you had the same issues pleating the back as I did. It took me literally hours to get those pleats stay in order. Your pleats look great though, so it's worth the trouble!

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    1. I'm really happy with the dye job, and handling the fabric keeps me wanting to work on the gown. Those back pleats are just frustrating! My two sides are not exactly the same, even though they look it from the top. Drives me a little batty, lol

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  6. Ah, I can't wait your new gown! I love this of LACMA and I's sure your will be wonderful too! :)

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  7. Looks like heaps of fun, if a little scary

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  8. Beautiful! You really nailed the back pleats and the skirt draping... I've found the skirt draping the hardest; the pleats are kinda fun :-) Looking forward to seeing the final gown - I'm sure it'll be fabulous as always.

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  9. Hello! I saw your post on pinterest about wanting the Embellishments book...its really beautifully done but I felt like it was for people who have less experience sewing...for example gave directions on how to do knife pleats, etc. Pretty simple stuff...it's definitely a great book to have for the detail photos but I get better embellishment ideas from Stella Blum Dover books. Just thought I'd let you know...I'm a huge fan of youre beautiful work! Thanks so much for all the inspo and tutorials!

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  10. Oooh! Yummy! You may not need this as it looks like you're doing just peachy as it is, and it's total self-promotion, but have you seen this?
    http://brocadegoddess.wordpress.com/sack-dress/

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  11. Can't wait to see this finished! This is one of my favorite gowns.

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