Robe a la Francaise in yellow brocade

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 There comes a time in every costumer’s life when you just cannot put it off any longer – you need to have a go at the sack back, or robe a la francaise. I have been meaning to play around with it for quite some time, but was waiting for the opportunity to arise – and for the right fabric to turn up. And then, in 2011,  I snatched a bolt of silk brocade in bright yellow, with lovely 18th century pattern in white. Not my favourite colour, but the pattern was simply too good to miss.

 And so, the French adventure started…

 I already had stays, in linen,  fully boned, based on the ones in KCI, but I needed structural support…

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linen stays, handsewn…

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stays in action..

  I used the pattern for pocket hoops from the Corset’s and Crinolines, and it it was easy to run a pair of them in no time at all – the instructions were simple and easy to follow.

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pocket hoop fabric ready for assembly

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ta dah!

Now for the frock itself. I followed the pattern from Janet Arnold,  Patterns of fashion 1 ; the one with comperes front, ( buttoned up)

the petticoat was first: the construction was pretty straightforward, though the flounces were a pain – the fabric frayed like mad….

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trim in the making…

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more trim on the petticoat…

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the skirt…. 🙂

  Then it was time to address the main article – the robe itself.  Again, the pattern is simple, as is the principle – the difficult part was lack of an assistant who would be able to pleat  and pin the thing on me… had to improvise with a dummy.

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pinning away…

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the front…

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sleeves taking shape…. the bodice part and sleeves are made in linen.

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the front part….

And there it is! 🙂 my first attempt- a few things i can improve upon, but happy with the first go result.

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 and worn  on me – here on the set of Horrible HIstories

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Horrible Histories set – you can just about spot me in the back…

We also used the frock for an 18th century themed bridal photoshoot  in Harrowden Hall- a mix of 18th century frocks and modern styles – alas models turned up to be 3 sizes smaller than requested, so the frocks are not displayed at their best – but still Mockford Photography and Pitcheresque Imagery  managed to get a few good shots!

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the three frocks  we used – from the left – polonaise en fourreau, robe francaise, robe anglaise

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the Anglaise in dusty pink

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and the polonaise in brocade. made a bit to big ( the shoot was 5 days after my shoulder operation, so made it a tab bigger so that i could squeeze my dressing into the sleeve:-)

 The Yellow francaise ended up, very appropriately, in Paris – and is now living  a rich and meaningful life, mostly being used for side saddle riding – shown below as a masquerade attire, on the day when we delivered int to Paris, on its new owner – Anne-Beatrice:-)

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  Now, I still have some more of that fabric – am tempted to make a caraco jacket in it…. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Robe a la Francaise in yellow brocade

  1. Pingback: Robe a l’anglaise in dusty pink silk | A Damsel in This Dress

  2. Pingback: Robe a la Polonaise en Fourreau | A Damsel in This Dress

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