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... 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Le Petit Bal au Petit Palais

After a few months of lonely sewing I always kind of forget why I love this hobby so much so it's great to get to meet some people that are into the same things as you a couple of times a year. About two weeks ago I traveled six hours by train down to Tampere to attend a little ball there. At first I thought about making a long post about this wonderful event but then changed my mind because both Nora and Merja already blogged about it and I feel like I haven't got much to add to what they said. So here comes a post with lots of photos with only a short description.

Photo: Teemu Laukkarinen
To sum it all up, the ball was wonderful and you could engage yourself to many different kinds of activities, although from my part the evening was mainly filled up with socializing and watching others perform.

Photo: Markku Arvonen
I was as lazy as always taking photos but luckily there were other photographers who did so much better job than me capturing the event. I only fetched my camera at tea/coffee time and later in the evening. So now there's a bunch of photos taken by me of people holding cups and drinking coffee.

Later in the evening I happened to have my camera ready for moments like the one below ;) Here's Ida checking her garters and tying them securely for her dance solo.

Maija of Couture Mayah looking happy wearing her ever so lovely striped polonaise.

Who could resist a silly bum shot of the striped gowns?

I would have loved to dance more than I did but I've had the flu on and off for some time and that night I wasn't feeling good enough to dance more than once. Besides, even though the dance I participated in was familiar from several past events, I kept forgetting where to go and what to do so I'll have to try to dance more some other time in future events when I'm feeling better.

Photo: Teemu Laukkarinen

One of the best things: Muskotti playing dance music.

Photo:Teemu Laukkarinen

And for the end of this post, a couple of shots of the striped robe à l'anglaise with accessories. I kind of bore myself by using the same accessories all over and over again but the red belt looks nice with all of my recent gowns.

Photo: Teemu Laukkarinen
Photo: Merja
To read more about the details of the evening, check out these two posts by Before the Automobile and The Shadow of My Hand. Nora and Merja did so much better job at describing the whole evening than I did.