Robe a l’anglaise in dusty pink silk

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  This was my first proper l’anglaise and a bit of experiment ( which project isn’t?).  It was originally intended as a show piece for the bridal branch of the business, Prior Engagement, and serve as an example of an 18th century frock for a historically minded bride….

 The styling was loosely based on one of the gowns from the Kyoto  Costume Institute , particularly this one. the petticoat and the robe were made form the same fabric and since i had quite a lot of dusty rose silk, the idea of making everything in it suited me to a T.

  The stays were first –  half boned, with coutil/canvas strength layer, boned with reeds, bound in silk.

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getting started….

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all pieces ready….

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all pieces whipped together, ready for binding

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tedious binding process…..

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done!

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was so excited i popped them straight over my top… love the silhouette! worn on a random shift below…Image

The petticoat was next in line… – an easy rectangular shape, and nice and easy pleating did the job

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front pleated

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insides – the extra fabric is folded down and pleated, i secured the edges with piking later.

Then only a waistband and it was ready!

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waistband pinned in

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just needs pressing….

Then it was time for the robe itself…. Mock up first. I used a pattern based on the Janet Arnold polonaise ( used for my very very first polonaise years ago!)

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My very first 18th century gown, all handstitched.

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experimenting with the mock up

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lining is made first and seams boned

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for boning I used think but strong reed

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then silk was mounted over the lining

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Piece by piece, handstitched.  Sleeves were next…Image

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lining the sleeve

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setting in the top part of the sleeve

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and the shoulder strap is covered with silk, hiding the sleeve attachment

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the neck and sleeves were decorated with Valencia lace and silk ribbon.

 Once the bodice part of the gown was done, it was time to start pleating the skirts….

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pleats pinned

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and sewn in:-)

 and it was ready!

It was first worn for the wedding photoshoot at Harrowden Hall – alas on a model that was 3 sizes too small 😦

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at the Bridal shoot photo by Mockford Photography

 Also, I wasn’t convinced about the petticoat in the same colour – looked a bit boring.  However, it looked much better with ivory taffeta petticoat ( part of another outfit….). a bright shawl, worn on beter support, with a wig and a hat, it looked much better! -Here worn at a Georgian picnic at Grassenholm Farm, photography by Pitcheresque Imagery

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and with another hat….

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  As you can see this bridal project turned out to be a re-enactment item in the end – and love it too much to sell on….  a couple of things i would change, and probably will as still have bits and pieces of that silk – the sleeves are just a tad too tight, so will need to amend that inconvenience!

 Altogether I must say that I love the simple style much better than the ornate grandeur of the robe a la francaise – simple lines, minimum decoration somehow work well for me:-)

5 thoughts on “Robe a l’anglaise in dusty pink silk

  1. Hello. Avid reader of your blog here – everything is so interesting and pretty and inspiring 😀

    Anyway, I have a question that you may or may not be able to answer, but I thought I’d ask it, because, you know, maybe.

    So here’s the thing. When i look at pictures of women’s clothing from pretty much any time between the 15th and 19th century – and replicas of said clothing – it seems to me that there has been a quite unwavering no-boobs policy. I mean, sure, we have dainty empire dresses from the 1800s with an accentuated bust – but it’s mostly suited for a rather tiny bust.

    Now, I don’t have a tiny bust by any means, but I also have a large desire for pretty dresses. And, you know, there must have been busty women too, who, like me, can’t wear a anything that flattens out the front, because, seriously, boob-chin. So what did they do? Would it be possible to make historically accurate – or, at least, historically probable – dress patterns for busty women? Or am I just doomed to “historically inspired” “fantasy” Disney-esque” dresses forever? I am just about ready to wail at the injustice of it all.

    Sorry if this got a bit long. As you can probably guess, it’s a big and important frustration in my life. 😉

    • Hello there – oh dear, there are loads of fashions all the time for curvy women! it all boils down to correct foundation garments. I myself am size 12, with a 34F chest – so definitely neither dainty nor flat. Most of the garments from 16th to 19th century required stays – and they do flatten you up a bit, and cleavage is usually covered up – do check the post Looking the part 1, where we covered things like what looks were en vogue and how much cleavage was commonly shown ( or not). IN fact, with stays, the fashions actually are very flattering to curves, and stays make them comfortable to wear – much more than modern bras… Ther is also quite a lot pictorial evidence that women of all sizes were catered for – just like today. so don’t despair, simply invest in good foundation garments for the periods you are interested in and get sewing! hope it helped a bit!

      • Thank you! I did. I’ll definitely look at the post you mentioned, too. I missed it, somehow. I’ve only seen the later parts 🙂

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

  3. Pingback: Georgian Ball in Bath, March 2015 | A Damsel in This Dress

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