Friday, April 10, 2015

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1770s Powerpuff Polonaise Progress


I've been working little by little on the pink polonaise I started last weekend. It's been incredibly tricky to figure out, but it appears to be working.

I re-fit the side pleats and back seam, and after more fiddling, I see I need to take another side pleat. Those side pleats are vital for fitting the front hang-y bits, which do hang close to the bodice, but are not sewn down. If I ever make one of these again, though, I would include the pleats in the pattern piece and cut it to omit them completely (if that makes sense), like Merja did on her Coqueluchon (hooded Polonaise).

I have made a lot of progress, though. I put the sleeves together, piecing in the pink cotton that will underlay the organza sabot cuffs. I made the sleeves quite short, and intend the sabot cuffs to come up quite high on the arm. An additional rufflepuff will emerge from the sleeve, to just below the elbow.

Enormous cuffs and lots of trimming on this one. Good inspiration, though mine won't be quite so lacy. (via)
Also very deep cuffs, and a good view of the back seams, and how the skirts are drawn up. (click for a larger view)
I also fussed out the waistcoat-y thing, which is attached to the gown at the side seams. This little piece is pretty vital, as it holds the back of the gown in place, for that nice tight fit.

Waistcoat futzing - may need to take a little tuck in the waistcoat, to get it to lay smoothly over the petticoat, but then again, this style seems to want to be a bit casual and rumpled
I still have so much to do - set the sleeves, finish the waistcoat, and piece the heck out of the matching petticoat, which may or may not work. I'm enjoying this project, though! It's such an unfamiliar type of gown, and I like the challenge.

My goal is to look as good as Johanna!

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13 comments:

  1. Sigh. Now I need a pink gown. D: It looks great.

    I'm not familiar with sewing sabot cuffs--just looking at them longingly--so is piecing of a cheaper fabric underneath something they did? I can't see why they wouldn't given the expense of fabric, anyway!

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    1. I haven't had the opportunity to inspect an original gown like this in a museum collection, but economy of cutting was a thing in the 18th c., as you know. In my case, I'm trying to conserve as much fabric as possible, because I didn't have enough to make the whole thing, so it's out of necessity.

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  2. Oh wow it just looks like it would taste of rose petals and sherbet! So best not to take a nibble hehe. Gorgeous. I think the polonaise is my all time favourite style. And it is so good to see it unfold, or should I say fold up? ;-)

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    1. Hehehe, I have to work on my "folding up" - I usually go for interior tapes to hitch it up, but I think the trick to get it to poof right is the tapes that loop up to the outside. Must experiment!

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  3. Oh yum, what a lovely job you're doing!!
    (Rufflepuff, I assume, is one of those long hidden 18th c tailoring terms? Very cute. I may just have to add some RPs to my 20th c wardrobe, just for fun!)
    Keep up the good work!
    Nancy N

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    1. Lol! Yes, Rufflepup and Hangy-bits, both technical Georgian millinery terms :-)

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  4. I wonder if the original reason for pleating, instead of cutting so as not to need to pleat, was to be able to let the gown out if needed.

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    1. Maybe so? Maybe it was cut as a general pattern then pleated to fit the wearer? No two Polonaises seem to be the same, which is pretty cool but also frustrating, haha

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  5. It looks great, all that fiddling paid off, you've got it to lay much closer to the bodice. Those colors are so yummy together, I can imagine it featured in some painting entitled "the confectioner's daughter"

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    1. Thank you! I still have such a long way to go, but I'm looking forward to the "icing" - well, not the roll-hemming of all that organza, but getting it all on there and trimmed :-)

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  6. It looks great, all that fiddling paid off, you've got it to lay much closer to the bodice. Those colors are so yummy together, I can imagine it featured in some painting entitled "the confectioner's daughter"

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  7. I am excited to see this wonderfully feminine pink dream when it is all finished! I have never attempted a polonaise, though I would love to try making one someday. If only silk wasn't so expensive! I need to make something pastel next time I delve back into the 18th century :)

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  8. Looking great! I attampted a polonaise oncem, but got completely confused and frustrated and it ended up in the bottom of the UFO-pile. One day I will take it out and finish it, and then I will use your blog for inspiration.

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