Regency Open Robe Refitting

I like fixing things, although you’d think I’d just do them right the first time, lol.

Last year I made an emerald green open robe, from the infamous Janet Arnold pattern.  It was a mess – the back was too wide, the bodice straps too high, the shoulders pulled, the sleeves were too tight and the sleeve heads too shallow.  UGH.  I also thought I’d be Christmassy and face the thing in red bias tape, BLAH!

The first version – eeeeew.  Pulling and weirdness and blah

The robe was a disaster, but I wore it, uncomfortably.  I didn’t want to toss it completely away, or cannibalize it, so after the Regency gown remodel, I thought I could do the same to the robe.

I removed the sleeves completely, as well as the front bodice straps, and released the shoulder straps, resetting them at a sharper angle.

New back details – re-set straps, short sleeves, curvy strappy bits, and buttons

The red bias facing couldn’t come off, due to extensive embroidery I’d put over the top, so I folded it back.

The sleeves were the real challenge – I had a little bit of scrap fabric left over, so I cut short sleeves intended to scallop slightly up to a point.  I set them the 18th century way, to make sure they would indeed fit, with top stitching by hand over the shoulder strap.

New sleeves, complete with button and tassel – I totally stole this idea from Maggie

The bodice straps turned into ones inspired by Jen Thompson’s open robe, and a couple fashion plates.  ‘Course, right near the end of the refit, I ran out of emerald green thread, so finished the embroidery in a slightly different green…which, of course, shows on the straps.  I figure nobody’ll notice in a dark room.

A few buttons scavenged from the original sleeves, and a couple tassels later, the thing is done and actually fits now, yay!

Red Pemberlies, black ribbon rosettes and tassel shoe clips.

I’m wearing it tonight, to a historically themed Christmas party, along with red Pemberlies with black rosettes and tassels, and a red toque-beret-thing I, erm, haven’t made yet.


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