Saturday, 11 June 2016

1790s Open Robe Costume Update: Part 2

For a period of time I've set aside my open robe, as other, more urgent projects came up and I got a bit stuck on certain things, due to it being a self-drafted pattern. But now I'm back and ready to tackle it!
A while back I have had some help and advice from my Nana about what to do with my 1790s open robe. I'd been faced with some problems, such as the lining not meeting the armhole, the lining being too big and too small in some places (as I stupidly used my muslin as a lining rather than cutting a new one), and the gathering looking wrong.
So, we decided together to unpick the gathered side skirt panels, and pleat it instead. This made the whole thing look a lot better. We also gave it a press and it's looking much neater. Taffeta is really hard to work with, and gathering is not my forte, so a lot of my hand-sewing went to waste. I'll have to trim it to hide the machine stitches, but luckily I have some gold braid and black spiral trim that would suit it very well.

Doesn't the pleats look so much neater than the gathers!

As I said, I left this project for quite a while and started sewing other things, which made it rather daunting to come back to. Laziness and fatigue really gets to me. One of the first things I did was sew some satin bias binding to the neckline, back and armholes, just to neaten things up and add some interest.
Then I hemmed the sides, the hem, added some more braid, and it was done! I took hardly any photos of the making of this robe, as it looked such a mess at all stages... I probably should have taken more photos of the steps, seeing as I was making it up as I went along - but it just looked really unappealing and unprofessional that I skipped it. Next time I make something this big and complex, I'll be sure to photograph nearly every step.

One of my next posts will be wearing this open robe at a historical site, along with my turban and chemise en robe. Along with that will be some final thoughts on the project, and hopefully some pretty photographs! Also, I'm planning my next project, which will be an Edwardian day dress from Butterick B5970.

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