Thursday, January 25, 2018

Stripey Robe a l'Anglaise Retroussée

Around 2012 or 2013 I found this fantastic printed cotton that I knew would work perfectly for the late 18th century. I bought about five yards, began working on a Robe a l'Anglaise Retroussée, and then my poor dress languished in the UFO (UnFinished Outfit) pile for years and years. Then in April 2017 I finally finished it just in time to wear to the Big-Ass Hat Tea hosted by the wonderful Jenny La Fleur. I also made a new pink Gainsborough hat for the occasion, since a Big-Ass Hat Tea requires a Big-Ass Hat!

I used the yellow stripes in the pattern as a guide for making my pleats. As you can see from the bodice, there is quite a bit of space between each yellow stripe. Three full widths of fabric are pleated into the skirt.

The skirt sewn to the bodice as well as the bodice back. I worked really hard to get that pattern matching perfect!

The skirt draped up into the swags that transform this gown from a Robe a l'Anglaise to a Robe a l'Anglaise Retroussée.

I also made a new pink Gainsborough hat to go with the dress. I was in a crunch for time finishing it for the Tea (of course I was) so I still consider it unfinished and would like to fix a few things and add some more trim. But it was wearable for the event!

The most exciting part of the hat is the fabric. I found it on the remnants table of a local luxury fabric store. The warp threads are white silk and the weft threads alternate between purple silk and metal-wrapped threads. Not little shiney strips of plastic but actual metal strips wrapped around a thread core, just like what was used centuries ago. I nearly died when I saw it!

Extreme close-up of the amazing fabric I found.
Finishing the hat.......

Look, I made a hat!

I made a little cockade for the side of the hat that usually gets swallowed by all the feathers.

And here are some photos of the finished outfit!

It's not me playing dress up if I don't take a few silly pictures too!

That time Carolyn's Big-Ass Hat ate my Big-Ass Hat.

One final bonus shot-- my stripey Robe a l'Anglaise Retroussée as a last-minute Halloween costume!

I think I really nailed the whole smokey-eyed look.

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