Vernet 1814: The Dress, part 1

The top of my Vernet dress is hidden by (I'll just go ahead and say it since you've probably already figured it out...) a spencer.  I've already said in a previous post that I was going to make the top of the gown simple and cover it with a chemisette.  With the chemisette made, the time came to actually make the top of the dress.  

My gown is described as a "Robe de Perkale."  Perkale cotton is a bit hard to find new, but if you are a sleuth on ebay, there are some good vintage sheet finds out there.  I decided to go with new Pimatex cotton instead.  It is a similar type of cotton, dense and with a slight sheen to it.  It's a nightmare to hand sew, by the way.  One painful stitch at a time, and you develop calloused fingers by the end.

So, it turns out that I decided a bit hastily that I wanted my gown to be a gathered drop front gown.  Haste makes waste they say, and they're right.

I say hasty, because I failed to notice a tiny detail on the fashion plate that was a HUGE clue to what style of gown was hidden under the spencer.  

When I reveal my fashion plate at the end, you will notice a small vertical slit down the center front of the gown, just under the spencer. (similar to what you see above)  This slit is the says that the gown had a center front opening.  So, back to the drawing board I went, seam ripper in hand, and I designed a new, more simple gown bodice.

It's terrifyingly simple...almost boring...but I'm ok with that, because there's enough gaudiness in other aspects of the outfit to make up for it.  I wanted the gown to be sleeveless for two reasons: 1. It's cooler to wear.  2. Less bulk under a tight fitting spener.  After-all, a bare arm would be enticingly scandalous to a Merveilleuse.

Now, back I go to the never ending story of hemming and trim making.


ZipZip said…
Dear Jenni,

Ah, life is like that...oops after oops, but then in your case, success!

Very best,


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