Wednesday, 23 December 2020

JP Ryan Robe a la Francaise - Pink/white stripe

Pattern: Pet en l'air (Robe a la Francaise) from J.P Ryan.
Fabric: 100% cotton, pink & white stripe, with a moire weave. 100% linen for bodice lining. 100% silk taffeta for sleeve linings.

Measurements: *I cut the pattern size 14-16, but in my opinion this pattern runs small and fell several inches below the pattern's stated size of a 40-42" chest.

Chest: 37-39"
Waist: 32-34"
Hip: Free
Hem: 39" at front
Bicep: 13.5" max
Back Width: 14" (adjustable)

Except for long internal seams such as those on the skirts, the gown is almost entirely hand stitched. All visible stitching has been done by hand, including all the decorative trim work on the sleeves and stomacher. The folded robbing are stitching down by hand below the waist, and both the gown and petticoat are hemmed by hand. 

The stomacher is interfaced with a double layer of linen and three boning channels. The back is lined in the same stripe cotton as the rest of the gown. The front of the stomacher is trimmed, by hand, with swirls of 100% silk pink ruching and a narrow picot edge trim. The center of the silk bloom is filled with fresh water pearls (not plastic). The edges of the stomacher have short cotton tabs for pinning. 

The sleeves are single piece with a double layer flounces at the cuff. A white cotton batiste under-flounce is also stitching in. The edges on all the flounces are trimmed or rolled by hand. The sleeves are fully lined in 100% silk taffeta, white. 

The method used to set in the sleeves is not modern, but an 18th century method by which the top portion of the sleeve is sandwiched between the lining and dress and then edge stitched in place through all layers. This method allows the top shoulder of the sleeves to fit smooth without the "fold" of an inner seam moving back and forth. 

Below you can see the process, all pieces pinned for hand stitching. 

The lining is 100% linen and includes a spiral laced front portion and a boned back portion is six sets of ties to adjust fit. The ties face the outside and are accessible from underneath the back of the Watteau pleats (this is something you would definitely need help with when doing your initial fitting. Once you have the back ties where you like them, there should be no need to adjust them between wearings).

Below you can see the sleeve inside, with the edges blanket stitched by hand and the top portion of the lining folded down and whipstitched to the sleeve lining. This is typical of the period. 

Below is the inside lining, showing the cotton tape fixed to the side pleats. This tape is tied around the waist at front to further help secure the heavy gown against the body. Specifically to keep the side pleats flush against the body. 

*some of the photos came out overexposed and I can't seem to 
work the setting magic on my camera to fix it.

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