Before Costume College, I was making plans for a new 1790s gown in purple taffeta, called the “Robe Royaliste.” I decided on a chemise style like the lovely green/gold gown in The Duchess:
I’ve never done a gown like this before, but I enjoy patterning and trying to figure stuff out, and was eager to use the knowledge gained in Jennifer R’s sleeve-fitting class I took at Costume College.
I was also eager to try out my first standardized body block I cobbled together after having so many fit issues with the Parisian Gown. It was a combination of a stays pattern drafted from The Custom Corset Pattern Generator, and an old Simplicity Renaissance faire bodice that somehow magically fit me. The paper block fit my dress form, at least…
|I added an additional inch to the shoulder strap, to drop the waist and open the armscye a bit.|
A quick muslin toile also fit, along with my first solo-drafted shaped sleeve (what a bitch to draft, honestly, but I learned a lot)…
The gown is a drop-front, with a smooth back, and a gathered front panel that buttons or pins at the neckline and also the waist. Wary of slicing up an expensive silk, I’m testing out my patterning hubris with a cheap taffeta I found on sale for $1.99.
|It actually looks how it’s supposed to look so far… I are pleased!|
Most of this is pinned together here, but I’m surprised at how quickly this gown is moving along (famous last words?). I’m beginning to hope/believe that perhaps there will be no horrible fit or pain-causing issues, and it may even be possible to have range of motion through the shoulders (zomg!?).
|Skirt and sleeve just pinned on to give an idea.|
So here’s hoping for luck through the rest of this project. 🙂
Katy RoseAugust 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM
One of the things that I have noticed is that The Gaulle is the fitted back with the gathered front, which is a pretext to the regency gowns and the Chemise a la Reine is gathered both front and back (all around)with a gathered and poofed sleeve. Sometimes the Chemise has a collar as well. That taffeta is gorgeous even though its poly. The sleeve looks wonderful! I keep hoping to see a blog post on what you have learned about sleeves….I know how to draft modern sleeves and wonder if there is a difference between the modern version and the Historical version… Great job!
Lauren StowellAugust 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Thanks miss Katy. I agree about the definitions, though read this article by Jen recently, kindof mussed up my ideas of things: http://www.festiveattyre.com/2012/06/costume-mythbusters-case-of-gaulle.html . Very interesting. Also about the collar – yes! I noticed on this gown (http://americanduchess.blogspot.com/2010/12/costume-analytics-emilie-seriziats.html) there is this weird little collar thing, like a smoosh-up of a redingote and chemise. Weird, and scary, lol, but maybe at some point easy to add?
I will share what I've learned about sleeves as soon as I feel a little more confident about things. I don't want to put out incorrect information, so I have to test things out first. As far as I can tell, drafting a modern sleeves and a historical sleeve are about the same, except where the seams are, for instance, if it's a two-piece sleeve, or a Victorian sleeve. One major difference I learned from Jennifer R. is the size of the historical armscyes – much tighter than modern ones, but they "isolate the arm," and result in broader range of motion, oddly enough.
Katy RoseAugust 13, 2012 at 12:27 AM
WOW!!! That does sorta mess up what you think you know! Thanks for pointing that article out to me!
The Laced AngelAugust 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Looking GREAT. I'm super impressed with the sleeves!
Laura MorriganAugust 12, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I am so impressed by the beautiful things you make! I want them all!
LaurenAugust 13, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Very nice! That gown is one of my favorites in the movie 😀
Stephanie LynnAugust 13, 2012 at 2:01 AM
I love the color of this dress! I can't wait to see the finished dress on you. I'm sure it will be stunning!
Robin's Egg BleuAugust 13, 2012 at 2:14 AM
It looks fabulous so far! Even in the cheap taffeta! Can't wait to see the real deal!
GwenyverAugust 13, 2012 at 4:22 AM
It looks good even in cheap polyester taffeta. Bonus if you finish it, you'll have 2 dresses instead of just 1!
IsisAugust 13, 2012 at 2:02 PM
I have made two gowns in this style and tehy were both surprisingly quick project. Yje dram gown, perhaps? 😉
LaurenAugust 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM
ClareAugust 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Yay for this working! It's looking fabulous!! Great work 🙂
AnonymousAugust 19, 2012 at 5:14 AM
I have always wanted to see The Duchess especially b/c her gowns are so pretty. It is so cool that you are making a repro of it. It looks absolutely stunning.