Tuesday, 15 March 2016

c1795-1803 Open Robe Part 1: Patterning

Making the pattern was challenging, I'm not going to lie. I used a combination of sheer luck and Janet Arnold's "Patterns of Fashion book 1", referencing the basic bodice block pattern from Elizabeth Friendship's "Creating Historical Clothes" from time to time to see how I should lay out the pattern and armscyes.
I made a muslin from the shapes referenced from the 1795-1803 open robe in Patterns of Fashion, and altered it accordingly, adding seam allowance and further width each time it looked like it was a bit on the small side. Most of it was free-hand, using the squares in the book as a method of measuring the length, though in the end I had made a lot of alterations.

Here's the pattern that I put together, tracing around all the pieces and joining them together, creating curves so that it all flowed. You can see the individual pieces, some with seam allowance and some without, that I traced around in the background.

Next I made a second, more accurate muslin out of left over cotton. It fitted! I just needed to make the arm holes bigger so that it was comfortable, and made some darts in the back and bodice front so that there wasn't any gaping. Fortunately the darts are in good places, so it doesn't look like the darts shouldn't be there.

I took some photos of myself wearing the mock-up over my chemise and stays. I really need some transitional stays, but for the near future I'm not wearing any stays, as the ones I have made are agonising in minutes. The empire bust line without stays still appears right, however, so I'll just have to let the historical inaccuracies go for now, until I make some decent 1790s stays. :) Also, I need to make a big panel for the back of my chemise, so that I can wear it as an individual garment, as there is a large, gaping gap where it is too small. Too many problems, and too little time and patience to fix them!

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