Monday, 26 July 2021

1790s Round Gown - Brown Embroidered cotton (with sleeveless bolero)

Patterns: Laughing Moon #133 Robe en Chemise with significant alterations and construction changes. I basically used it as my jumping off point. 

Fabrics: 100% cotton batiste, embroidered, dark brown. Linen/cotton blend for lining, also dark brown. Bolero is 100% silk, mini stripe in coral and cream.  

All visible stitching has been done by hand, including the hem and drawstring channels. 

Measurements (gown only): *Style allows for a lot of wiggle room in the chest, underbust, and waist.
Chest: 34-38"
Underbust: 30-34"
Waist: Pretty much free, would work as maternity wear. 
Hip: Free
Back Width: 13.5" 
Hem Length: 41" at front from natural waist. About 44" from the underbust seam. 4" longer at the back. 
Hem Width: 180" very fully. 

Measurements (bolero): *with center front fully laced closed
Chest: 36"
Underbust: 32/33"

The original pattern has a center back closure and a front with a fixed fitted lining. I did this with a center front opening and fixed back, as well as a loose front lining that overlaps and is pinned in place to fit. 

The waistband on the original pattern is also fit specific and fixed, but I decided to cut mine a little longer so it could be drawn in to fit at the front. 

I also shorted the bodice pieces to bring the waist seam up higher, making it more early regency as opposed to Chemise and la Reine. 

The little bolero jacket was just an afterthought I worked up with some left over silk I had. It is not part of the original pattern at all. 

Lining and Inside
Due to this dark brown fabric being semi-sheer, I had to line it with a similar dark color. The skirts are so heavily gathered that it mostly makes up for the semi-sheerness, but it would still be best worn over a dark chemise or petticoat of some kind. 

I'm not sure what the proper historical term would be for these little kidney or sausage shaped pads that were often worn at the center back of high waisted gowns, 1790s-1810s. Bustle doesn't seem right, but I've not seen anything else used. I decided to add one in this case to get the silhouette I wanted and also to help alleviate the drag created by the weight of the skirts. I went with a very full, 180" wide skirt portion, so there's a lot of fabric down there lol. 

The blue cotton tapes (seen in the two pics above) help to draw the center back against the body a bit more snugly than the lining alone would do. The loose ends at the back also providing a tying point so the little kidney pad can be tied in and removed. 

(below) The armhole seams are worked over by hand with a blanket stitch. 

Skirt Construction and Attachment

The skirt is just 4 panels, 45 inches wide, and cut curved at the top to reflect a 4" longer length at the center back. The skirt is not gathered to the waistband evenly, but with a higher percentage of the width focused at the back. In order to fit such a large amount of material into a narrow space, I added a deep box pleat at the center back, which then has more material gathered over it. 

(above) you can see the edge of the box pleat, completely hidden by the heavily gathered fabric over it. This not only allows a very large amount of fabric to be concentrated into a small area, but also creates a bit more lift at the center back. 


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