1798 Gown: Update #2

It's starting to look like a dress now.  I pleated and attached the back skirt to the bodice.  Then I decided it didn't have enough of a peak in the center....

So, I re-worked the skirt.

Next, I pleated and attached the front piece of fabric at the shoulders.  The front of the gown is one long rectangular piece of fabric, going from selvage edge to selvage edge.  So, in order to have a neckline (and to get into the dress) I had to make about a two foot cut down the center of the fabric and narrow hem it.  The Tiden's Toj gown does the same thing.  The split ends about mid torso.  It took me FOREVER to work up the nerve to cut into this fabric.

After attaching the front bodice/skirt fabric to the shoulder seams, I had to shape the arm scythe on both sides.  This proved a bit difficult.  I thought that it might need a dart to help control the puffiness at the side bodice....

(Please excuse the white, bath robe 'belt'...I don't have the drawstring in yet.)
...but that made the skirt pull at the side seams.  It just wasn't right.  So, after talking with my trusted advisers on the Sense and Sensibility forum, I decided small pleats, worked into the arm scythe gave a better drape.

You can see the results here.  It also helped to take the gown off of the manikin and try it on myself.  The side skirt seams aren't sewn together yet, that's why there is a split down the side of the gown.  It's still a major work in progress.

The next issue I'm trying to tackle is the placement of the bum roll.  If I tack it onto the bottom edge of my bodice (which is where it's supposed to be), I think it flattens out the small peak I was trying to achieve.

I also think the bum roll makes it look like I have a shelf attached to my back side, rather than allowing the fabric to drape gracefully down my back.  I will let you know if I figure anything out that works better.  In the mean time, if you have any tips for me, I would be more than happy to hear them.

(Again, forgive the bath robe belt.)
Here's the front on me.  I am in love with the soft drape of this gown, and it hasn't been hard to make...not compared to most of the other gowns I've made.  Maybe sewing is just getting easier for me.

One final issue that I have to figure out is shown in this picture.  I might have to pin the front closed.  Even once I get the drawstring in at the waist, the front v-neck shows about a 1/2" of the lining flaps.  I COULD cut down the lining flaps...but then the whole wide world would see...well...they would see something that I don't want the whole wide world to see.  So, pins it might have to be.  They are a period correct means of fastening after all.

So, here's the self-inflicted 'mirror' shot that no one wants to see on a blog, but my husband (admits he) is rather bad at taking photos.  So, I did the best I could.  I still have to put in the drawstring and casing at the front waist, sew up the side seams of the skirt, hem the bottom of the skirt, and make/attach some sleeves.  The gown is rather elegant, even un-finished...very Grecian!  I'm giddy about wearing this thing on an outing or picnic and terrified at the same time that it is going to get dirty.  I'm such a klutz that it is bound to happen at some point.


Vintage Girl said…
Beautiful, wow, this was a big undertaking, you did really great with this project. Just wonderful. I love the white so clean and pretty!
Gail said…
That looks great. Those gathers on bodice look so couture. I can see why they were the fashion back then.
ZipZip said…
Dear Jenni,

Oh my, it's going so well! The drape is terrific. Go, Jenni, go!


Jenni said…
Thank you, ladies! I will probably have to put the brakes on it for a while....unfortunately, Spring Break is over. :-( As long as it's done before May 14th (it's debut) all will be well.
Anonymous said…
Oh! This is going to be sooo pretty.
What a lovely style, and the fit is looking great. Very elegant indeed.

I will soon be starting a blog that will tie into my costume site, but I would love to have a link to your blog on my blog, might I have your permisson? :)
Jenni said…
Brielle - Absolutely! Thank you! I am flattered that you want to link to me. If I could be half as talented as you are, I would be extatic!
Jenni said…
Also, Brielle, I will put up a link to your site. :-)
Isis said…
Love the drape of the fabric! It will be lovely!. Perhaps it would help if you placed the bumroll a bit lower?
Jenni said…
Isis - Thank you, I think I figured out the bum roll. I'm going to take out some of the stuffing, so that it is a bit more flat.
Nabila Grace said…
Wow it looks so good! I love the drape of it! well I just love everything about it! ;o)

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