My first project of 2012 is a new Robe a la Française made from some gorgeous rose silk taffeta. I’m attending an 18th century dinner at the beginning of February, and while I have a perfectly good Française already, I couldn’t resist the urge to make a new one. It’s been three years since I made the aqua Française and I’ve worn it at least half a dozen times so I don’t feel that guilty.
(My main inspiration from the Kyoto book Fashion
I was intrigued by Katherine’s Française tutorial
based off of the diagram in The Cut of Women’s Clothes
. Instead of a separate waist seam it has a vertical dart that runs from bust to waist, easing the bodice fabric into the skirt. However, the diagram is dated 1740-50, much earlier than my target of 1760-65. By the 1760s most dresses were being cut with a separate waist seam at the front. I did this with my aqua Française and while I like the look, I really wanted to try a new type of construction. I’m more attracted to the later trimming style though. A search through my costume library confirmed the idea that most of the 1760s were cut with a waist seam, however, I found two dresses from the MET that have the vertical dart and they are dated much late. That’s good enough for me!
I’m going to trim the dress with self fabric ruffles. I want to have a row of gathered scalloped trim running down the robings and front of the skirt. Then I will add either a twisted fan ruffle or just a scalloped design down the side of the skirt. The petticoat will also be trimmed with a knee high ruffle and a row of gathered trim and ruffle on the bottom.
Posted: 1/1/2012 6:50:56 PM
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