Non-Matching Trim Options for Robes a la Francaise

So as I bimble along on this LACMA-Sacque-ma, diligently cutting out all the many pieces, and saving every little scrap, I’m getting the feeling that I’m not going to have enough fabric left to recreate the trims on the original dress.

Oh Snap….

Oh, I fully intend to stitch together every minuscule piece of cabbage in a last ditch effort to get those hundreds of inches needed to do the pleats, but it’s not looking good.  So, just to be prepared for epic failure, here are some trim options that are *not* made with matching fabric.  This wasn’t very common, it seems, but at least I won’t have a naked sacque, if it comes to that…

The Met, 1770-75. This Robe has frothy bits on the front.
The Met, 1770-75. Here’s a closeup of the frothy bits. I think this works because the froth and the gown fabric are the same color – it might not work so well with the blue fabric.
The Met, 1740s – this gown has a crochet (?) net trim with fly fringe on the edges
Here’s a closeup
VandA, 1775-80 – this appears to be puffed blue silk over embroidery.
KCI, c. 1760 – trimmed with lace (but also quite a lot of self fabric)
Arizona Costume Institute, c. 1760 – trimmed with gold lace.
Royal Ontario Museum, 1750s – trimmed with silver. A viable option.
MFA, 1775 – another trimmed in metallic lace.
The Met, 1750-75 – this one is trimmed in passementarie. 10 tons of it.
Here’s a closeup of the above. I…I don’t think I’ll be attempting this madness.
The Met, 1770 (click through for the whole dress) – I think this looks stupid, but it *is* an option.

Most of the gowns showing non-matching trims appear to be a little later than my inspiration dress.  Of course, what I really want is to somehow schnarg out enough yardage to make all the trims, but I might be gettin’ jiggy with the silver spray paint on some lace instead, which I could live with.  It wouldn’t be a re-creation at that point, but at least it would still look pretty cool. 🙂


  • Rose

    November 5, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    Contrasting or complimentary trim would still make your project a beautiful endeavor. My meager yards of blue silk taffeta were not going to be enough for my dress so I based my dress on two paintings of blue dresses with white/silver trim. I used embroidered white silk organza and the unembroidered bits to trim the dress up based on the paintings. I had so little fabric my under petticoat is cotton with a cheater panel front made of silk. You can see my dress on my blog. I used the JP Ryan pattern with great success.

    • Lauren Stowell

      November 6, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Your sacque is goooorgeous! I would never have guessed that you had so little fabric. I'm thinking now I should have gotten the JP Ryan pattern instead of trying to work this all out myself.

  • KittyKatt

    November 5, 2013 at 4:29 AM

    If you find that you have to resort to spray painting lace, use the spray paints meant for floral work…they are formulated to work on silk flowers, and so might work on your lace bits as well better than regular spray paint. Or if there is a metallic dye or even gutta – used for silk painting – You could airbrush it on. I'm sure that this is not the first time in the history of costuming or dressmaking that this has happened. Keep your chin up. I'm waiting to see how it will all come together…and you always make it work so well!

  • Sanna K

    November 5, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    I'm also going to use not-matching trim for the sack back gown. It just arrived in the mail today! YAY! And I agree with Chastity, silver lace would look so great with your fabric!

  • Unknown

    November 7, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Madame la Duchess, what about using silver net/tulle over an almost matching taffeta. You could also use silver lace sewn to the net for a more open look. Whatever you use I am sure the robe will be stunning!

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