All posts tagged: Frou-Frou 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. …

A petticoat fit for a Queen

It’s done! Some 22+ metres of hand sewing later (3x 110cm side seams, sewn twice; 350cm hem, sewn twice; 280cm ruffle, sewn, gathered to 170cm, sewn again; 250cm of piecing additions; 100cm of pleating whipped to waist; 100cm of pocket slits; 30cm of ruffle join), I have finished my Queen Charlotte inspired 1760s petticoat. I am extremely pleased!  Especially with the ruffle: It’s not exact, but the effect is close. To finish the petticoat, after creating my punched lace pattern, I sewed a single line of even gathering stitches 2″ down from the uppermost point of my small upper scallops.  It’s clear in Ramsay’s portrait that Charlotte’s ruffle is held on with a single line of stitching. I gathered down my single line of stitching to half the width of the petticoat, and then stitched it on to the skirt using a running-backstitch.  I’m extremely pleased with how close it is to the effect shown on Charlotte’s petticoat – down to the upper portion wanting to stand away from the skirt, and looking fuller and …

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 …