Friday, August 16, 2013

Revamping another floral robe à l'anglaise

First of all, I must introduce my new friend to all of you who aren't my friends on facebook. A while ago I found this nice dress dummy from a second hand store and even though she isn't exactly my size she can wear my dresses surprisingly well for a random find. I'm considering padding her at some point I but at the moment I'm feeling too lazy to do it. And I'm not yet sure if I want to do it anyhow because right now she can wear one of my friend's dresses (without stays) as well as mine (with stays).  

Currently I'm revamping yet another floral robe à l'anglaise that was made a few years ago. Basically it wasn't in desperate need of a revamp but it bothered me so much that something had to be done to it. I ended up taking it almost completely apart because it was badly machine sewn and because the lining was loose and made out of sheet so I had to cut new pieces for it from linen. At the moment the dress nearly completely reassembled, lacking only the sleeves and hooks and eyes. Eventually the skirt of the robe will be looped up with tapes on the inside of the dress. This is how it looks now:

Since this is an old gown, I'm starting to feel like it needs something new to it - to cheer it up a little bit. This is not my gown so the final decision lies in the hands of it's owner but I'd still love to hear your opinion about it. The original plan was to decorate the dress with self-fabric trim but after some research on the net I realized that none of the similar extant gowns had self-fabric trimming. Evidence can be seen on this Pinterest board

I know many costume makers just love to trim their dresses heavily with self-fabric and I sure love to do so as well. But now I feel like I really don't want to do it with this dress like I did with the earlier robe à l'anglaise that was already doomed to be historically inappropriate because of it's fabric. But this fabric looks much more historically appropriate so I wouldn't like to ruin it by decorating it in a way that isn't. So what do you think? Have you stumbled upon a floral robe à l'anglaise that is indeed decorated with self-fabric trim? Or any other kind of trim that I could use? Of course accessories will make the whole costume look a bit more interesting but I still feel like the robe itself needs something to it. Please let me know what you think!

And here's one more quick shot of the bodice...

This is what the gown used to look like when it was made.

I don't think I have quite enough fabric left to make a matching petticoat but I'm thinking about making either a light blue or a sheer white petticoat instead. Or maybe even both. The petticoat seen in the two old photos no longer exists.


  1. How about adding sheer white trimming (and maybe some blue ribbon) on the sleeves and the neckline like on this dress?
    I think both petticoats would work; somehow the blue feels like more everyday wear and if you'd make a white one, maybe with a ruffle on the hem, that would work as a more dressier option.
    Lucky you for finding that dress dummy! :)

    1. I really like your idea :) Although, shortly after writing this post up I also discovered that maybe it's possible to decorate the robe with self-fabric trim after all: The dress can no longer be seen on Meg Andrews' website but if you rely on the description on pinterest, that should be a cotton robe à l'Anglaise. I'm kind of glad I don't have to make the final decision because it would be too hard for me to decide which option I like the best so I would just get stuck with it. :D Anyhow, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and tell your opinion about it :)

  2. I agree with Nora. Sheer white trim would look so refined!

    I have seen floral gowns with self trim, but most are Robe à la française, like this one:

    However, there is this beautiful gown on the same site that is trimmed with fringe, an unusual and pretty edging I'd never really imagined before:

    1. Ooh, that fringe is very unusual indeed and it looks great as well. I've actually seen a couple of floral robe à l'Anglaise gowns with self-fabric trim but those were made out of silk and not out of cotton like this one. I guess it's because the cotton gowns are probably meant for day wear and silk gowns for evening wear and evening wear would be more elaborate anyway so that should explain it.

      Anyway, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here, it's much appreciated :)