Vernet 1814: Ruff and Chemisette - Side Trip...Sort Of

Another hint about my Vernet fashion plate... the top of my gown is covered by...something.  So, and here's the fun part, I get to imagine what it would look like without that something!!!

I've actually decided to make the top of my gown very simple to make it more versatile later on, and I'll get more into that in a later post.  But I am going to decorate the gown by covering it with a gauzy, frilly chemisette (or in this case it can also be called a canezou.)  

When looking through some fashion plates I found this one from the 1811 edition of Costume Parisian, and fell in love with the shoulder ruffles.  It will compliment the hem line of my Vernet gown.  *wink*wink*

I recently went on a vacation with my daughter and parents to the beach.  The long road trip, in which I didn't have to drive, proved itself the perfect opportunity to sew what seemed like miles of rolled hems, pleats and gathers.  I used a soft cotton voile fabric, and it feels like air on your skin.

I left off the ruffle at the waistline simply because I didn't want to add extra bulk to the outfit.  It's light, airy, whipped cream on top of a cake...very Vernet.  It can be worn with many different dresses, but I think it will work perfectly with the Vernet outfit

So that was the "side trip...sort of" part of this post.  This next part is an accessory that you will actually see a bit of in my Vernet fashion plate...the neck ruff!

Check out this fashionable beauty from 1808 and her collar!  Definitely my neck ruff inspirational goddess!!

I used a heavily starched cotton organdy for the ruff. Pleating it with my fingers was all it took.  No iron needed. 

I started by it folding according style into three long sections, and then I attached each section with a simple isn't noticed when all is done.

Scrunched up, it really holds the folds.  I laid it out on a template I had cut previously, to make sure I got the shape and length I wanted.  I ended up trimming it down a couple of times to get the right height at various places in the collar.

Once the shape was figured out, I whip-stitched it onto a small band of fabric.  This serves two purposes, it holds the shape together, but I have very sensitive skin and it also prevents the scratchy organdy from making an itchy mess of my neck.

Now, all that's left to do is to tack it onto the neckline of my chemisette when I'm ready to wear it! 


AuntieNan said…
This is beautiful, and as I sit here in the deadly combo of 80 degrees and close to 100 % humidity! that soft voile and crisp sheer look so perfect. One question -- how did you finish off the top end of the ruff, once you cut it to the shape you wanted? Or did you just fray check it or something? YOU MUST HAVE STRONG FINGERS!
Great post, thanks,
Nancy N
Beautiful! Lovely! Oh so airy! this post of yours reminded me of the movie "Bright Star" when Fanny Browne sews an spectacular magenta collar. In spanish we have the word canes├║ too. It means the yoke of a dress, in particular girls dresses with bows, lace and all kind of adornments. Thank you for sharing!
Jenni said…
Nancy - Thank you! I don't know about strong fingers...possibly more of a masochistic will to finish. As for the tops of the ruffles...assuming you are meaning the ones on the shoulders, correct? Once I gathered them, I simply folded the top/raw edge under, placed the ruffle on the base that I had already made for the shoulder pad, and stitched it down. No need to hem first and then stitch again. Basically, I killed two birds with one stone. ;) Historical accuracy aside, I'm just lazy.
Jenni said…
Ooops...just realized you said ruff not ruffles. Sorry. I didn't finish off the top edge of the ruff at all. It is so heavily starched and tightly woven that I didn't need doesn't fray.
ZipZip said…
Ooh, how pretty.

Plus, now you have a canezou to wear -- just add the bottom ruffle when necessary and off you go. Bonus!


Abigael said…
This is beautiful! I assume the ruff stayed up because it was sewn into the band to lay flat against your neck? Do you have any trouble with it collapsing inward?

Love the drama of this high-ruffed look! Thanks for sharing.


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