Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Orange silk taffeta robe a l'anglaise

I made this dress for the June 2015 18th Century Picnic with the Historic Recreation SocietyI used the J.P. Ryan Robe a l'Anglaise pattern. This and the two petticoats are entirely hand-sewn.

The front closes with pins. The back poofs are created by tying two twill tape ties together on each side, a method I saw on an extant dress in the book Costume Close-Up. One is at the side back waist and the mate is about 12" up and 24" in from the front opening. I tied them with about 6" distance. I liked this method because I didn't have to worry about having a pretty cord that matched, and also I can wear it in the future as a plain open gown if I like.

I am wearing it over a shift, my green cotton twill stays, my new divided bum pad, a linen petticoat, and a sheer cotton petticoat with a woven stripe. On my feet are a pair of Fugawee Annas and some white clocked stockings from Jas. Townsend. I also have two pockets tied on and a cotton lawn neckerchief. My hat is a plain straw that I re-trimmed with orange flowers, a white feather, and a strip of green silk faille pinked and used like a ribbon. I wore glass pearls in my ears.

Construction photos:

I did not use the directions in the J.P Ryan pattern. Instead the seams were lapped and sewn from the right side with a spaced backstitch, as described in Costume Close-Up.

For the trim, I cut 1.5" strips with my rotary pinking blade and used graph paper as a pleat guide. I made 1/2" box pleats spaced 1/4" apart.

The bum pad, the design of which I owe to A Fractured Fairytale. After I made it I ripped and re-sewed the pads to move them a little closer together.

A linen petticoat I handsewed with linen thread.

The striped cotton petticoat I handsewed with cotton thread.

A detail of the cotton petticoat's pocket slit. I hemmed the edges of the slit and added a thread bar to reinforce the bottom point. The point and the bar have buttonhole stitch worked over them.

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