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:-)