V272: Finished Indienne Print Curtain Gown, 1780

Finally I’ve got all the little bits n’ bobs complete on my Indienne print Curtain-Along dress, and just in time too – we leave for Colonial Williamsburg this coming Wednesday!

I’m very pleased with how this gown turned out.  Everything…well…fits, which is never the case…there’s always something pinching, pulling, or cutting.  Not this time, though! ///happy dance!///

I left the skirt very long on the gown, and it was a bit of experimentation to figure out how to pull it all up a la polonaise and have it look pleasing.  The typical two tapes and loops in back didn’t pull the front edges up enough, so I added two more tapes and loops on the side fronts, to keep the skirt up off the ground.

The ruffs on the neck and cuffs are falsies.  I love this trick from Period Costume for Stage & Screen – it saves those of us who hate making chemises from having to do it, and it also means your “chemise” ruffles are always in the right place.  These are made from cotton voile, though originally I tried some vintage lace.  It didn’t work – I looked like a bad Simplicity costume pattern from 1989!

So…I guess that’s it.  I’ll be wearing this gown in Williamsburg next week, and will post pictures of it on-person then.  Thanks for following!


  • AuntieNan

    September 28, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Wow! The fit of the shoulders is just unbelievable! Can't wait to see it in action (or at least PHOTOS of the action…) and I love the CF buttons.
    Nancy N

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 28, 2012 at 11:39 PM

      Jen, thank you for doing the curtain-along. It was a great motivator to get this done. I love being part of a group all making various incarnations. I can't wait to see other people's projects ๐Ÿ™‚

  • KittyKatt

    September 29, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Glad to hear that you mastered the fit monster on this one. It looks very professional, stylish for the time, and simply great with all of the extras! How do you keep the little pointy thing in front from getting all creased up? Is is boned?

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM

      Thanks! The point in the front has boning on both edges, just a strip of 1/4" zip tie sewn on right at the edge. In another gown I sewed in some canvas to that area, and it worked nicely too.

  • Rachel

    September 29, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    I am always amazed by the creations you come up with and make. When you started doing historical costuming how did you begin? Was it small steps, or just an immediate jumping in to it all?

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 29, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      Hi Rachel – I sortof just jumped right in with costuming. I had big goals but no experience. I started with ready-made patterns from the fabric store – Simplicity mostly – and altered them.

  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    September 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    I had a little giggle to myself, perhaps this new mode of using curtains for frocks, and choosing the polonaise style, this could be robe a l'ostrienne? (in honor of Austrian Blinds!)
    Seriously, it is GORGEOUS!!!!!!

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 29, 2012 at 7:07 PM

      Curtains are awesome! I made a bustle dress out of curtains several years ago, and I just *love* the curtain sheers section of the upholstery fabric store in my town. As for a la polonaise, it's just so pretty and practical! I left the skirt reallllly long on the gown, to wear it down and trailing, but only for evening, and wit a different petticoat. For daywear, polonaise makes so much sense. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Time Traveling in Costume

    September 29, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    I may need to go snoop around our Lowes now too. Besides the gown, I noticed your lovely kerchief. I'm really behind in reading blogs, so I may have missed any info on that. *so envious of your trip*

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 29, 2012 at 7:09 PM

      Hi Val – yes, go see what Lowe's has. You can get these particular curtains in 3 colorways, and I believe there was also a blue/yellow print as well.

      The kerchief was made from a vintage baby baptism gown. If you want to try it, I recommend finding the biggest baptism gown you possibly can, otherwise it will come out teeny-tiny like this one, which will need to be pinned discreetly in various places to keep it from shifting too much.


Leave a Reply