18th century, shopping

18th Century Excitement & Color Quandries!

Okay, so how excited am I? Some Bay Area costumers have organized a two-day workshop on 18th century gown making techniques. Next Saturday, the supervising mantua maker from Colonial Williamsburg is going to teach us how to drape, fit, and make (by hand!) a 1770s sack-back gown/robe a la francaise. Then Sunday we pair up and drape and fit and start sewing our own gown! *does the happy costumer Kermit dance of joy*

But now on to color quandries. ARGH! I cannot decide what color to make my dress! For years I have wanted a pale silk taffeta sack back gown, and this seems like the time to do it. I’ve always thought ivory or peach; ivory would be too hard to take care of, so okay, peach (like this dress from the upcoming Marie Antoinette). But then when I’ve shown swatches to people, they’ve thought that peach is too close to my skin tone and would be boring and monochromatic.

But then when I go to look at other colors, I’m either bored or they don’t seem right for 18th century (which seems to be mostly all about white/ivory, yellow [no], blue [I hate blue], green [I ALWAYS do green, boring!] and pink/peach [no pink]). There are lots of nice silk taffetas out there in dark and jewel tones, but they just don’t look right to me. There are some interesting rosey/orangey mid-tones at C&J Textiles (like 6016 and 6017) — I have swatch cards and they’re much more interesting in person — but I just don’t know if this is working for me!

Usually I find fabric, and then let that dictate what I’m going to make. This is a rare occurance when I need fabric (in about a week!) and the universe is just not helping me out.

So! Do I:
A. Stick with peach (I was thinking of maybe edging the ruches in fly fringe/“rococo” trim in a darker orangey or red/rosey tone to liven things up)?
B. Go with a rosey/orangey mid-tone (not too bright/dark)?
C. Go with something like a pale green (I always do green)?
D. Run screaming?

I know, I know. My mother once told me that I’m jaded, and I think it’s true!

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