Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1750 Court Dress, Part 1

The dress and I are back in the studio, and it's time for what will be a nauseating amount of photos. These photos are low-res, and are not the entire batch for this session. For high-res photos, and many more of them:

Click this finely crafted link to the gallery on my website.

What you're looking at:

French gown, or robe à la française, or sack/saque gown, with stomacher and petticoat. I've attached the date 1750 to it because it lacks a waist seam, and because of the size of the pannier it goes over. It's meant to be suitable for being seen at court, say, in France (arguably the most "high maintenance" court at this time).

Pattern: for the gown I started with JP Ryan's pattern, and redraped the front to fit me, modified the back pleats to work with the pattern in the fabric, and extended the sides to fit over the pannier. The petticoat I draped and pleated into shape.

Fabric: Scalamandre "Love Birds" silk damask. I believe the color is "Georgian Red."

Trims: self fabric ruching, edged with a fancy machine stitch, in imitation of hand embroidery. Gold machine-made lace, in the style of crochet lace.

Stomacher: painted silk and self fabric ruching.

What next:

More photos, of course! I'll start taking the gown apart (visually, that is), and describing each element.

These photos also capture the gown as it looked on its first wearing. I'm calling this the first incarnation because, first, I didn't finish all the trims I had planned, and second, at this point I see things I want to change. More on both, soon.


  1. I can't believe you made the lace. How lovely! Did you machine embroider on water soluble stabilizer?

  2. Hi Laura! Yes, I used the standard method for making free standing lace: embroidery on water soluble stabilizer, then soak. Repeat, ad nauseum.

  3. I saw the photos of your event, and you looked lovely...