1884 Gown: Vest and Interchangeable Plastron - Part 2

Part two is focused on the plastron.  I have to admit that while working on this, I was having horrible flash-backs to the late 1980's (not 1880's), of those awful 'dickies' or mock-turtleneck shirts that I was forced to wear as a child.  Even as a kid I didn't like them, and I still don't, apparently, because I am wrinkling my nose at the thought of them as I type.  Because of this, I have to admit I'm finding it very hard to like this plastron.  They just look so much alike, those 'dickies' and plastrons, darn it!  Why?!

Here it is in all of its un-tucked glory.  It certainly doesn't look like much, does it...pathetic little thing.  My plastron, per original inspiration image, isn't nearly as lacy or frilly as the ones I saw in "Fashions of the Guilded Age."  I made a base lining first out of cotton, using the princess seams on my vest as a guide, and I ended up putting in a couple of darts on this lining.  Then I draped and pinned the silk into pleats over the lining, basting all edges once I had the look I wanted.  I tacked down the inner most fold of each pleat along the waistline, so that it wouldn't balloon out and poof up too much. Then, I hemmed the sides and bottom, and attached the collar.  It was as easy as that.

Ok...so......I've been extremely busy lately, and recovering from several illnesses that hit me all at once, and I just couldn't bring myself to put buttons and button holes ALL the way up BOTH sides of the plastron.  So, please forgive me for going the lazy (wo)man's route instead.  I put a button on each bottom corner, attaching the plastron to the vest in only these two places, in order to provide some sort of stability. Then I sewed on bias tape at each side, to pull in the smallest part of the waist, and tied them together in the back.  I figured this should hold the plastron in place, but, if it doesn't, then I will suck it up and do buttons.

The collar is simple, clasped on with a large hook and eye at the back.  Blah...there's that mock-turtleneck thought again...or a bib...*gag*!  Sorry...  I'm sure it will look lovely with the jacket over it, but seriously folks...yuck!

Anyway, once it's tucked in, and the Swiss waist is put on, I guess it isn't too terrible, right?!

It might be a while before I post again, at least about this project.  I want to ask Natalie to help me fit my jacket, and I plan on making a mock-up first. 

I'm loving the gorgeous Autumn weather we are having right now.  All of the windows in our house are open, and a light breeze is playing with the curtains.  I'm off now to enjoy what's left of this beautiful day, and to plant a few Fall perennials in the garden.


ZipZip said…
Dear Jenni,

You and me both on dickeys; the mere idea bugs me. If you just think of it as a sort of jabot?

It's looking very good, I think.

Very best,


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