18th century, Marie Antoinette redingote c. 1780, projects

Marie Antoinette Redingote: Starting the Project

So we’re just going to pretend that I’m not further along on this project, so that I can go back a bit and blog its beginnings!

Like all sane, rational people, every time I came across this sketch of Marie Antoinette in a redingote I thought, “Wow, I need to make that.”  I didn’t have any firm plans, however, just a general wanty-ness.

Drawing of Marie Antoinette, about 1785, ink and color on paper, Artist unknown
From Lofstad slott, Norrkoping, Sweden. From the blog Fashion Is My Muse.

Similarly (and somewhat weirdly), every time I walked past this Victorian house down the street, I always admired the color combination of cream, white, and black, and thought that it would be great for a costume.

Color scheme inspiration -- cream, white, and black

But it wasn’t until Leia was selling a bunch of yards of the silk/wool blend that she used for her riding habit (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) that it all came together, as I was thinking of what to do with that fabric that wouldn’t end up being a copy of Leia’s habit (which, have I mentioned? I love).  So we were off and running…

Now, the original drawing sometimes reads as cream, white, and black to me, and other times as just white and black, but I was happy to read that the color is probably a later addition to the drawing.  Not that it would matter, just that it lets me let myself off the hook for possibly not doing it 1000% RIGHT.  I’ve always thought the brown fur detracted from the color scheme, so I’m going to make that element black.  Just cause I wanna.

One other tweak I want to make is that from what I can see of the drawing, it’s being worn over one of those relatively wide hoops that are one full garment and cross in front and back of the body (like this one).  I don’t love that look, so I’m going to use my standard pocket hoops and call it good.

So out came the dress form and the stays and I started draping!  I referenced a number of different extant redingotes for seamlines, including this one from the Palazzo Mocenigo, and this one from the Fastes de Cour exhibition/book.  Here’s the drape and mockup; I didn’t bother fitting the center back pieces below the waist, since that section doesn’t matter for fitting!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Merja February 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    I have nothing new to say but I’m just really ecxited to see this dress come alive!

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