Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rescheduling... W.I.P. Robe à la Française

So, the robe à la Polonaise project got delayed because the floral robe à l'Anglaise - that was supposed to be finished before starting with the polonaise - got damaged and my schedule got messed up. After heavy repairing on the anglaise I realized that I would have to start preparing for the next event and start sewing my planned outfit for this year's Christmas ball. I could always wear the polonaise for the ball, but polonaises aren't really ball gowns so I decided it would have to be rescheduled for later. It might not even happen before next spring. It doesn't really need to be because it's probably best suited for strolling outdoors in the summer and I really need to make other garments now. 

So it was time to start making one of my other long term dream projects - A robe à la Française with narrow back pleats. I have always loved this gown from MET and wanted to create something similar. Luckily, I even happened to have some fabric ready for it in my stash. I had bought it more than year ago and had had difficulties deciding on what to make out of it so I had looked at some paintings of 18th century ladies wearing dresses made from white/cream silk satin. Then I remembered this famous gown from V&A and the decision was made - even though I was a bit afraid my fabric might be a little too heavy for the back pleats to drape well. Honestly, it should be a little lighter but I took the risk and I don't think it looks that bad. Or what do you think?

I enlarged the pattern from Norah Waugh's The Cut of Women's Clothes: 1600-1900 and spent almost all my spare time last week trying to get the bodice to fit. Finally after the third mock-up I was satisfied with the fit and the real fun could begin. First, the lining was cut from linen and the back was sewed up...


Then I moved on to the most exciting part... cutting and pleating the backside of the dress! Here's what it looks like at the moment, pinned on my dress dummy:





Tomorrow I'm going to stitch the front lining to the back of the bodice and try it on. I really hope it fits as well as it should... 

16 comments:

  1. The fabric is perfect! Those pleats are amazing :)

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    1. I'm so relieved to hear you think so. It's a very pretty fabric but I was SO afraid it might be too heavy! But I really love the narrow back pleats, too :)

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  2. Wow ! That is pure perfection ! ♥

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  3. I love it! It reminds me of a wedding dress I patterned. Really gorgeous satin, it drapes so well.

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    1. I'd really love to see that pattern! Speaking of wedding gowns, I've actually been asked if this is going to be my wedding dress a couple of times, too... :D

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  4. The fabric is gorgeous and your dress will be perfect !

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    1. I sure hope it will turn out to be as lovely as the originals :)

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  5. It looks beautiful! I usually go for the wider pleats but this fabric looks so lovely pleated narrower. Can't wait to see more!

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    1. I happy to hear you think it looks good :) Ever since I saw photos of sack back gowns with the narrower pleats, I've actually preferred them to the wider ones. I like the way they don't cover the whole back. But I definitely don't like the pleats to be too narrow, though!

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  6. Aivan huikean kaunis puku!
    Hei, pistin sinulle viestä tuonne Rokokoo Atelier facebook sivuille :)

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    1. Kiitos kovasti! :) Laitoin juuri vastausta siihen viestiin facebookissa, pahoittelut että kesti!

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  7. Those pleats are so lovely!! The fabric looks delicious! :-)

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  8. I love the fabric, looks expensive! :) I'm also keen on those pleats, but they seem sooo complicated and hard to figure out... It's really impressive you managed to make them look that perfect! ;)

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    1. Actually the fabric was quite expensive but I was lucky because the fabric store had -50% discount the day I bought it. The pleats aren't really that complicated but, depending on the fabric, you just need some patience with them since they can take some time to iron. :) I've made a sack back gown out of a striped fabric and it was soo much easier to work with.

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    2. Ah, lucky you! I was at the fabric store today and the prices really scared me. Actually, what's seems the most tricky part is the fact that the pleats and the back of a dress are together, but I guess if you've done it before, you know how to get it right ;)

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