Portfolio: 1780s Chemise a la reine

The Idea and Inspiration:

A fully gathered, simple cotton chemise a la reine, based on French styles in the 1780s.

I used a number of extent sources for the trimmings of the dress, most notably Vigee-Lebrun’s paintings of women of the French court in chemise a la reines.

Fabric and Materials:

Light cotton gauze with a very soft hand, tea-dyed to mute the original bright white colour.

Sash of recycled silk kimono crepe, trimmings of synthetic velvet and satin ribbon.

The Dress Diary:

The dress sketch

A voile petticoat for a chemise a la reine

An organza petticoat for a chemise a la reine

Chemise a la reine Attempt 1 – the muumuu from hell

Chemise a la reine Attempt 1 – the thought process

Chemise a la reine Attempt 1 – the blouse

Chemise a la reine Attempt 1 – the skirt

Chemise a la reine Attempt 2

Attempt 2 – Try-on without the sleeves and collar

Gathering the chemise a la reine and the first full try-on

Musings on what to wear under a chemise a la reine

The first wearing, at the Pompeii to Paris talk

Madame Ornata in the chemise at Pompeii to Paris II

The chemise a la reine on me (finally!) 

The chemise a la reine at the Botanical Gardens

Inspiration images:

Research and references:

Teresa (Ithlwyn’s) dress diary

Waugh, Norah.  The Cut of Women’s Clothes: 1600-1930.  Faber and Faber: London.  1968

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