February 25th, 2016


1790s Chemise en Robe - Solutions

So, when making this dress I only fitted it once, and it seemed okay - a bit tight, but I thought that was typical of the period - but when I tried it on at the end, it is very tight in the back and bust and gapes where the hooks and eyes meet. Stupid of me, I know, but I am a beginner to this particular hobby. I feel like if I sat down, the hooks and eyes would burst off and go flying everywhere, so not very practical! A bit disappointed, but I've come up with some solutions:

  • Alter it with two panels in the back. This would be a lot of work and look messy, so perhaps not...

  • Create a sleeveless 1790s open-gown to go over the top. It's the correct period, looks relatively easy (no more gathers in sleeves, yay!), and is really cute.

So I've come up with a design for the open-robe in my little notebook, thanks to a picture on Pinterest and my Patterns of Fashion 1 book by Janet Arnold. I'm excited! The back of the open-gown would hide the small gape in the back of the chemise, and the lack of sleeves means that I can still show off my puffed chemise sleeves! Plus, it fastens in the front with ribbon lacing, so it will be easy to take on and off myself. So many bonuses!
I'm planning on it being pale blue with black accents, to match my sash that may or may not go over the top of the whole thing. How cute would this be with a matching hat!

Here are the pictures that inspired me, and my sketch.

The colour and style I'm going for, but rather than draped bits at the back, I was thinking of a solid skirt and train for the back part, like the second image below.

This is exactly what I want, but in blue with black binding. Maybe I'll hand sew it this time?

The Janet Arnold Pattern I'm thinking of using in combination with Elizabeth Friendship's "Creating Historical Clothes" for the correct fit.

My sketch of how it will all look together, as an outfit. Sorry for the terrible photos, it's dark in my room!