Although my current Snow White project is a detour from the historical sewing I created this blog to chronicle, I plan to dive back into some fun vintage costumes once that’s done. Here’s a look at some of the dresses I’m considering:
Simple Robe Anglaise
Since I’m still new to all this, I’m sticking with basic patterns for now. I spied this 18th century-ish Simplicity pattern last week and I’m eager to get started sometime in November (or October, depending on how soon I finish my current project).
This pattern is supposed to be Elizabeth’s dress from Pirates of the Caribbean, but as you can see from the black & white detail, View A could be interpreted as a Robe à l’Anglaise, although it has a zipper up the back. I plan on omitting the back zipper and adding a zipper to the front, hiding it under a removable stomacher. I love authenticity, but sometimes a girl just needs a little 20th century comfort, you know?
I have some gorgeous fabric to use as well: blue jacquard and white poly satin. The jacquard I got for $5/yard at LA’s garment district, and the satin was free as part of my Fabric Windfall.
19th Century Afternoon Dress
I saw this replica of an 1874 afternoon dress on Before The Automobile and instantly fell in love. Once I saw the original, I knew I had to make it. Why? Because I have silk dupioni in light green and light blue already in my stash, again from this spring’s Fabric Windfall, and they would go splendidly together in this dress:
Here’s the original:
I realize dupioni is not a period fabric, but I have to use it for something, and it has the crispness and lustre such a dress demands. The challenge, of course, is cobbling together the right pattern pieces. Hmm…
EDIT: I just noticed that Before The Automobile says the pattern is described in Janet Arnold’s “Patterns of fashion” book, which happens to be available at my local library. Yay!
I think it’s time I made one of these.
I want to use the plum velvet and gold brocade I have in my stash, but I have only 5 yards of the velvet and the pattern calls for 9 yards for the bodice and overskirt. I really shouldn’t be buying any more fabric right now, though, so perhaps I can make it work with a slightly less full skirt or something.
And that’s it! Seriously, these will take me all the way through winter given that I sew only on the weekends.