V262: Progress on the “Curtain-Along” 1780s Indienne Gown

So far so good – and sleeves that FIT!

This project might have been quick if I hadn’t spend whole chunks of days not doing a darn thing.  At least when I do get my lazy arse moving, the Indienne gown seems to be going together rather nicely.

Yesterday I thought to finish it.  I fitted the sleeves over my mannequin’s shoulders (a good indication that they will fit my shoulders), and applied the shoulder straps by hand.  I turned up the edge of the bodice, in preparation for the skirt, but the skirt has turned out to be harder than I thought.

Fitting the sleeve over the shoulder and basting in place
Applying the shoulder strap on-the-form.

I know, it’s a skirt, it’s not supposed to be hard.  I’m trying a new-to-me technique shown in Patterns of Fashion 1: 1660-1860 and Period Costume for Stage & Screen wherein the skirt is leveled at the hem by adjusting it at the top, using elastic tied around the waist.  It didn’t work so great for me, but I did manage to scribble out something of a curve at the top edge, and compared it to one of the skirts on the Vandyked gown in POF, which is also shaped at the top:

From Patterns of Fashion, the shape of the skirt on the Vandyked dress (pg 42).

The shaped top of the skirt panels seems to be working, but working the pleats at the back, which has a squared-off tail instead of a point, was troublesome, and I ended up just ripping out the whole thing, and will re-pleat it tonight, using the method of pleating straight across the waist at back, then turning down the extra inside – it’s shown on the inspiration dress schematic in Costume in Detail here:

Reference image in Costume in Detail, pg 69.  The bottom left sketch shows the inside of the bodice, with the extra fullness of the skirt turned down.
The back of my bodice, awaiting the skirt.

So maybe it will be done *tonight* !

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