All posts tagged: 1760s robe a la francaise

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: Then I sewed up a linen support bodice, and worked eyelets down the back, so that I could tighten it with laces: 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. 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: 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! I’ve dubbed it the frou-frou française, because the fabric is just so deliciously scroop-y. …

ca. 1760 Robe a la Francaise inspiration

Though it’s going to be very late, I am working on my Robes & Robings project: a 1760s robe à la française. My progress hasn’t been quite as fast as my very ambitious schedule, but it’s coming along.  I’ll show you the progress soon, but for now here are the extent garments and paintings that I am using as inspiration, because every good frock begins with research and inspiration. My original jumping off point was, of course, Ramsay’s painting of Queen Charlotte: The painting was begun in 1764, but Charlotte’s dress is not particularly fashion forward, which is good because I would like my dress to date a little earlier, without any design details that would be out of place in 1755.  The big problem with Charlotte’s frock is that you can’t see much of it. You get a better look at these two frocks.  I’m particularly fond of Laura’s scrumptious blue & white number: For some earlier inspiration, I adore this depiction of Louise-Elizabeth of France.  Her skirt trim is amazing, although my petticoat is already …

Queen Charlotte petticoat progress (and punched lace!)

I’ve been working on the Queen Charlotte petticoat steadily, while tackling Lace & Lacing projects, and modern sewing, and client sewing.  There is a limit to how much QC sewing I can do a day, as the taffeta is so stiff that after a few hours my hands start cramping. The last I left you, I was rescuing my “Ooop!  Cut it too short” disaster. I sewed the extensions on to the top of the petticoat, and was ready to pleat: I pleated each side of each half down with 6 pleats, each 2″ deep, and spaced 1″ apart, taking the full 175cm width of each half of the skirt down to 17.5″ – enough to wrap a little on each side over stays and paniers (I know, I used both cm and inches as I sew, sorry if it is confusing). Once I was happy with the pleating, I folded the top of the petticoat down slightly, checked the hem length, and then whipstitched the top of the skirt to cotton tape (I can’t …