As mentioned in my first 18th century a la polonaise post I am using Jennie's Portrait Gown pattern from Sense and Sensibility. Her patterns work well with my body and this one is no exception. This was my 12 days of Christmas project during my summer holidays 2011/12.
The young women in the Portrait Gown image on the left is far less busty than me, yet the same pattern fits my curvaceous body very well indeed and I like that in a pattern.
My fabric for this gown is a lovely blue and white toile pattern, very reminiscent of the 18th century, though not hand blocked of course.
Its a quilting cotton (muslin), bought on sale for the unbelievable price of $A2 per metre! I snapped up the whole roll which was 10 metres and lucky I did because I needed every last metre of it due to the need for fussy cutting as I wanted to ensure that the bodice front and back patterns matched and showed off the pretty cupids, lady on a swing, etc.
It was a hard task to match the fabric pattern as it wasn't printed as a mirror image, and as the picture to the right shows, lots of fabric was 'wasted'.
So what's 'fussy cutting' I hear you ask? Well its aligning your pattern and seam allowances to ensure the fabric design is positioned in the way you want it on your pattern piece. For instance I wanted the swinging girl right in the centre of my bodice, in the centre of my sleeve and the cherubs placed on the back panels. Here they are before being stitched up.
|See how the toile pattern is set central to the bodice|
|Back, not the best view, but you can see my intentions I think|
Putting the bodice together was a delight, the sleeves went in without a hitch
|Setting in sleeve|
|Attaching the lining|
|Sleeve at back when sewn in|
|Front of sleeve|
Then I added the skirt onto the bodice and that went on smoothly as well. The pleating is a bit difficult around the back bodice 'v', it takes a bit of fiddling to get it right, well to my satisfaction at least!
|Bodice 'v' attached to polonaise skirt, you can also see my boning channels|
|Same shot but from the right side, pleats are OK, could be better|
The only issues I have had with this project is my own silly lack of attention mistakes and they were minimal. Its been a great summer holiday project between Christmas and 12th Night (5th January).
Over the last weeks I have made my petticoats, one in white and one in the fashion fabric and I used Kosha the Cat's online tutorial, though Jennie gives you an excellent how to in her pattern notes.
|Metres of fabric for the fashion petticoat, lucky I bought 10 metres!|
As you can see in the piccies below, I tried the bodice pining method, but my curves just pop them right out, opps, perhaps too much Christmas cake, pudding, custard and chocolate me thinks over the 12 days of Christmas!
My hair is a very quick attempt at Georgian 'big hair' for the piccy, not really successful. Also, sorry for the blurred images, I'll put up better ones in my next post.