Important note: I can't claim 100% accuracy with the construction of this dress. I havent done enough in-depth research to definitively say how this style would have been constructed. Since it is a transitional style, I felt comfortable enough to use my knowledge of 18th century techniques to experiment with the construction and make educated guesses as to what they might have done.
Starting with my basic 18th century bodice as a base, I made a fitted lining pattern. I shortened the waist (though not enough as it turns out), and draped the back pleats directly on to the linen. To help keep the back fitted, I kept the center back seam but left 1.5 inches above the waist to form the center pleat.
There are two stacked pleats on each side of the center back seam, and each pleat is sewn down with a spaced backstitch.
The front panel is one width of fabric with a slit at the center front. I used twill tape stitched down with a running stitch to create the drawstring channels at the waist and under the bust. I I added two extra strips of fabric at the side to help the skirt drape more gracefully.
The fitted lining closes in front with pins, and the outer fabric closes with three drawstrings - one at the neckline, one under the bust, and one at the waist. I added an inner tie at the back waist to help keep the dress tight against my back. Without a waist seam, there isnt enough tension at the waist to keep it defined, and the dress looked ill-fitting.
Posted: 6/9/2014 9:46:15 AM
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