Monday, June 3, 2013

I see a chemise gown and I want to make it black...

(With apologies to the Stones.) 

So things are coming right along on my black chemise gown.  I need to sew the other sleeve, attach the sleeves, hem it, add little white wrist ruffles and I'm done!   Really, this is far easier than I thought it would be, thanks in large part to the dress diaries of Demode,  Festive Attyre, and Jenny La Fleur.    I used the back pieces from my basic 18th C body block and the front from the the Rocking Horse Farm chemise gown pattern, plus lengthened versions of the JP Ryan anglaise gown sleeves. 

For the drawstrings on the bodice front instead of making casings, I just made two tucks in the front about 2 inches apart.  I have no idea if it's accurate but it's a hell of a lot easier/less stitching and adding a casing. These are very narrow, about 1/4 of an inch or less.  I threaded very fine cording in the channels with a bodkin which gives it a nice, tight gathered look.



I also did some experimenting with underpinnings.  I noticed that the chemise gowns I liked the best had really full skirts, which gave a bit more of a small waist illusion than the ones that were slimmer looking. 

So I tried one option with a single flounced cotton petticoat and my bumroll - way too slim.


And one with my bumroll and the very full, lined "target curtain" petticoat  - much better.  I'm thinking that I may even add 1 or 2 of the flounced organza petticoats I have over this to pop the hem out even more...will experiment and post more pics.


Yeah, it's still kinda stay-puft, but pretty much what I'd hoped for out of this style.   More and more I'm looking at this as a vehicle for showing off hats/wigs, a sort of frame for spectacular headgear, if you will.


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