Let me start by apologizing for making a slight mistake in one of my previous 1790's gown post. It's probably not a huge deal to most of you, but it bothers me...so...clear it up, I shall. I previously posted that my gown would be made of voile. Well, I discovered this morning, while scrounging through some old fabric swatches, that this fabric I'm using is not voile, but combed cotton lawn. I doubt the average person would be able to tell the difference, voile is slightly more sheer and light weight than lawn, but I feel REALLY stupid for not remembering what kind of fabric it was that I ordered last fall. In my defense, I've slept since then.
Now, on to the good stuff. I read an article recently that a friend scanned for me (sorry I can't share the article) that mentioned women in the late 18th century using buttons to hold up their high waisted petticoats. So, here's my version of how it was done. I am not entirely sure if what I've done is the correct WAY to do it, and my buttons are porcelain instead of bone or steel, but the buttons and loops serve their purpose and that's all that matters to me.
The lining in my bodice is put together. After draping, and drafting, and draping again, I finally pulled out the Lawn (not voile) and cut the back bodice out. I've been working hard to pleat and hand stitch the back of the bodice. It was a lot of fun to create, and I really enjoy manipulating the fabric...it's sculptural.
The hardest part so far has been figuring out how to make the high, pleated collar or neckline of the dress. I actually had to redo this collar area at least a dozen times, and finally ended up doubling the lining to get it to stand up as firm as I wanted it to.
Remember my inspirations?
See the high collar?
Well, I have a long way to go...the shoulder areas aren't finished, the front bodice isn't done, the skirt isn't even a thought yet, and the sleeves have to be made. There's a lot of work ahead for me, but I am LOVING this project!