18th Century, Felicity

Frou-frou francaise progress (and Fissy)

I’m stitching away at the ca. 1760 robe à la française, in between teaching classes and giving lectures and marking papers and re-fashioning shoes and drafting patterns and being a human being.

I started with drafting a pattern:

ca. 1760 Robe a la Francaise toile thedreamstress.com

Then I sewed up a linen support bodice, and worked eyelets down the back, so that I could tighten it with laces:

1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

Then there was a great deal of sewing huge lengths of fabric together with teeny-tiny hand stitches.  Time consuming, but not very interesting!

Then I pleated the back pleating, and hand-stitched it down with silk thread.

1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

Then I basted at the shoulder seams, and down the side seams, and cut the fabric down to the waist, and out for the front skirts:

1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

I’ve figured out the side pleating, and marked the lines to cut down for pocket slits, and finishing those is my next task.  Then on to side pleating, front bodice attaching, hemming, sleeve construction, sleeve insertion, finishing, and trimming.  Makes it sound so simple!

1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

I’ve dubbed it the frou-frou française, because the fabric is just so deliciously scroop-y.

Felicity loves the scroop.  The taffeta is like catnip to her.  It figures that I’d manage to have a cat that is totally indifferent to catnip, and goes mad over silk!

Every time the fabric comes out, so does the cat:

Felicity and the 1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

Yes indeed, this shall be mine…

Felicity and the 1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

I shall lie on it…

Felicity and the 1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

…and hide under it…

Felicity and the 1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

…and sleep on it…

Felicity and the 1760's robe à la française thedreamstress.com

…and play with it…

And generally be utterly adorable and totally annoying!

9 Comments

  1. As long as she doesn’t think she’s one of those little hole-making wheel things! (A tracing wheel??)

  2. Mel the Redcap says

    If I lay out fabric on the floor, I have to watch out for the cats… because both of them like to start about six feet away, sprint, and then skid across my cutting mat taking the fabric with them. Then they mug the fabric. 😛

    Felicity seems far better behaved!

      • Mel the Redcap says

        If I’m not in a hurry to finish whateveritis and it’s a good durable fabric, it’s hilarious. If I’m working to a deadline, or I’m afraid they’re going to damage my material, it’s… less hilarious. 😛 I still take pictures. 😉

  3. Typical cat. Typically cute. 🙂

    And the dress looks like it’s starting to take shape – yay! Hmm… lacing the lining… knew I forgot to finish something.

  4. Wow, seeing this is really giving me deja vu – minus the kitty shenanigans – even the colour is somewhat similar! This is going to be SO gorgeous when it’s done….I wonder if enough time has passed now that I could bring myself to make another – this time *for* myself! And isn’t it wonderful when you can actually see it starting to take shape?

  5. Felicity demonstrates the reasons why I made most of my son’s black wool 1880’s coat on the front porch. One of my cats can open every door in the house, so trying to shut them out is futile.

    And TAFFETA! Ooooh, rustly, like mousies and other pounceable things!

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