I’m really sick of pink pintucks. And of sewing with a treadle machine. And of wearing a corset to sew in. Not to mention that wearing a corset every day is ruining my figure (you loose all your stomach muscles within a week!), so I’m taking a break from Emily’s dress.
I have a good excuse to take a break from Emily too. On July 23 I’m co-presenting a historical concert with The Historical Arts Trust: Grandeur & Frivolity: Music & Fashion from the Courts of Louis XIV and Louis XV.
Obviously I need to add to my stock of Baroque and Rococo fashion, so it’s a great excuse to tackle a project I have drooled over for months: a 1660s gown for the celebrated 17th c French beauty, arts patron, and sometimes nun, sometimes courtesan, Ninon de l’Enclos.
In yellow duchess satin, because I’m desperate to make a yellow dress.
There are no portraits of Ninon done within her life, so I’m using a portrait of Élisabeth d’Orléans as my main inspiration frock.
That colour! Those sleeves! The jewel trimmed bodice! The sheer fichu-thingee (yes, I know fichu is a 19th c term), the silly little fan at her bodice. So lovely!
For reference and to help move the dress dating back to the 1660s, I’m using this 1660-1661 work.
I think the bows are tres ridiculous and tres adorable. More importantly, like my main inspiration image, it has a plain skirt, and a similar skirt treatment.
For extent garments references, we have the invaluable 1660 Bath Dress.
While a little early, and reflecting British fashion, it has the same sleeve treatment as my inspiration frock, and is an excellent reference for period construction techniques, especially thanks to the wonderful Cathy who has put detailed pictures of the construction of the Bath dress on photobucket.
I’m super excited about this project. Except for the boned inner bodice it will be entirely hand sewn (I refuse to hand sew boning channels). I’m such a nerd. Historical accuracy gets me so excited!
Even better than historical accuracy is being historically accurate, and being able to kill two birds with one stone. I’ve read up a bit on skirt construction between 1630-1670, and as far as I can tell it didn’t change a lot, which means that if I have enough leftover fabric after my 1660s bodice, I can also make this bodice and have a 1630s example too:
Those cuffs! That collar! The black bow! And is she wearing the same dress with different cuffs in this portrait as well?
But I’m getting ahead of myself. That will come later. For now. I’m full steam ahead hand stitching and dyeing and fitting. I’ll be posting about this dress exclusively (excepting Rate the Dress) until it is done. I’m hoping by next Friday!