Musings of a Lady

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Le Modiste: Polonaise gown for evening

My goodness, where have I been?  It is amazing how 'life' happens and you realize that many tasks that give joy are set aside for the practical, routine tasks that...well, let's face it,  we'd rather not do but seem to feel we work, housekeeping, etc.  Ahhhh, the mundane business end of the stick that pokes you constantly when all you just want to do is play!  Sigh.

Anyway, I am back and posting about an impromptu gown I made for an event.  Yes, I thought that was a thing of the past.  Ha...ha...ha!  Ya, know, I just didn't want to wear the same thing I have worn for the last few evening events set in the 18th century.  No, no, no!  

I fished around in the pool of my fabric stash and found this striped silver and rust silk.  It is a shantung silk.  Yes, I know that it is not period to the time but I had it, it is pretty and well, the event I was going to was for fun and not for 'teaching history' - not a re-enactment in the true sense of the words.

The gown I based my design on is this one from the Victorian and Albert Museum collection:

Robe à la polonaise, English, 1775-1780. Robe and Polonaise of lustring striped in pale green, cream and two shades of purple, with boning and lined with linen.

I had just enough fabric to make the bodice, sleeves and the attached skirt.  Because of time, I machine stitched the basic construction ( used an overlocker for finishing)  but did the lining, finishing and the trimmings all by hand.  
In construction with the sleeve trimmings in place.  I scallop-hemmed the edges and gathered at the same time to get the rushing I wanted and a nice interesting edge.  See two pictures below to see how I did it.

A close-up.  Ignore the overlocked edge underneath.  Like I said, time was not on my side...I was doing a whip-up, bang it out gown.  

These are the neck trimmings that I used.  The stitches to make it happen is at the top.

The underskirt was not what I had planned to use but I ran out of time, so I used an embroidered sheer skirt from another ensemble.

I did not want to wear a wig.  I went surfing on the net and found on Pinterest a pin that lead to a nice tutorial for hair.

Locks of Elegance, is a nice blog!  As a visual learner seeing the step-by-step was great and easy for me to follow. The lady's hair in the tutorial is longer and thicker than my own but I was able to manage it, with lots of hair spray to keep my frizzy-fly-away hair in control.  Here are some pictures of the results:

I need a better needs to be attached better.  The  neck trimmings is visible as well.

The event was the annual Imperial Russian dinner at Babouska in Walnut Creek.  The restauranteurs were, as usual, gracious and the food was fabulous our evening was wonderful!

Now, I do need to get back to my Regency Wardrobe.  Bath, England is coming up!  September is the deadline but I really don't want to spend my entire summer sewing at the last minute!  So, next up, I am piloting a bib front gown for Laughing Moon Patterns, another day dress to be completed. The UFO's I had are done.  Following the bib front gown, are two evening gowns as I have nothing in that department.

Stay tuned!  And, thank you for your patience.  I will hopefully be able to post more often now.  The job is winding down...5 more weeks.  Then its freedom from the commuting, lesson planning and all. 



Karen Geer said...

Well done!

Sarah G said...

Gorgeous! :D I would never have guessed your frenzied deadline with just looking at the dress. You did a fantastic job!

The Quintessential Clothes Pen said...

Very pretty trim, and your hair looks great!


Isis said...

Very nice!

Madame Berg said...

Mmm, stripes are the best! Fantastic job on the trimming and your 'do looks great!

Angela said...

Thank you Ladies! I really wanted a striped gown and the opportunity presented it self. Usually rushed jobs like this don't turn out well. But this one did! Cheers.

Angela said...


Lydia Gastrell said...

This is so beautiful! I especially love the sleeve trim. How did you do the "scalloped hem" effect on the sleeve trim? =)