I’ve finally started in earnest on the LACMA Sacque-ma. For a reminder, because it’s been too long since I posted about this, here’s the original dress:
I don’t have any experience with Robes a la Francaise. They scare the nickels out of me, honestly, but with the help of Patterns of Fashion 1 ,The Cut of Women’s Clothes: 1600-1930 ,Period Costume for Stage & Screen, and Katherine’s very very helpful sacque-draping tutorial, I think I may be getting somewhere.
|Pinning and fiddling with the back pleats.
After I dyed the silk fabric, I starched and ironed it like a crazy person. This resulted in a rather springy fabric that didn’t want to fold into pleats easily, but with a bucketload of pins, and the brutal savagery of my steamer, I got the Watteau back to this point:
The back pleats aren’t perfection, but they look pretty okay. Now I’m messing with the front skirt pieces, which I believe is premature, as I should construct the front of the bodice first. Here I have them pinned on. I was struggling with the fall of the front edges, but in studying Janet Arnold’s Francaise pattern, I found that it’s *really* important to slant the front edges, otherwise, if done on the straight, the skirt will fall too flat over the petticoat, and not in that nice A line.
|The left side is folded back so the piece angles; the right side is on the straight.
That’s my progress for now. I’m a little nervous about running out of fabric for all the trims I’d like to do. It looks like this is going to be a use-every-scrap kind of project (which I find quite satisfying, really). More later!