1770s camisole, 1778 robe a la circassienne, 18th century, Marie Antoinette redingote c. 1780, projects

State of the Sewing – France Prep!

So I haven’t been blogging lately (obviously) — partially because I’ve been too busy, and also partially because I’m feeling like the dress diary is over.  There are so many costume blogs these days that I think it’s hard to keep up with them all, and I don’t get much feedback on my own dress diary posts, so I’ve been thinking of doing more wrap-up posts — here’s what I made and here’s how I made it.

But since I AM sew-sew-sewing for France, I wanted to show you where things are!

First off, the camisole à la polonaise is almost done.  I had a bit of quandry when it looked like I didn’t have enough of the contrast windowpane fabric to do skirt ruffles, but I managed to find a piece I’d forgotten about and have eked out enough.  Just need to gather and attach the hem ruffle, and I want to make a couple of sets of different color bows (I’m thinking green and lavender) to wear at the neckline and sleeves.

I’m working on a gazillion things simultaneously, which is kind of nice in that when I get sick of one thing I can put it down and pick something else up.  Here’s the robe à la turque, which turned into a robe à la circassienne once I realized how impractical a white silk satin gown was with a train.  This was a particular adventure because I decided to drape it on my dress form using the fashion fabric.  A great idea, except when you’re dealing with $40/yd fabric.  Yeah.  There were some screw-ups and fabric wastage.  I’ll give you the long version when I write my “how I made it” post!

Finally, there’s the redingote, of which I don’t have an up to date photo.

I still have LOTS of fiddly bits to do — sleeves to set, 10 million buttons to make, plus I am embroidering away on Francis’s waistcoat… And I want to style a new wig, and make at least one hat.  I’ll try to post more pics in a day or two!  Luckily I’m off work as of tomorrow, so I have 1.5 weeks to finish sewing, pack, and get generally organized.  EEK!

There’s also some important news to post about my research, but I’ll save that for another post….

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8 Comments

  • Reply Chris D. April 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    I’m amazed that anyone can juggle so many projects at once, make them look fabulous, AND stay sane, all of which you appear to be doing.
    I would be sad to see the dress diary posts go, though I understand how lack of time and feedback would leave you meh about it. I’ve very much enjoyed reading all of your posts, especially the ones where you’re in the middle of a project and it goes wonky and you find some awesome way to fix it. Yours was the first dress diary I ever read; it inspired me to dive into this historical dressmaking craziness, and it has taught me so very much over the years!

  • Reply Elisabeth May 1, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Will you finally go to Vaux le Vicomte on 26th of May?

    • Reply kendra May 4, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Sadly we’ll be down near Toulouse that weekend, and Vaux is just TOO far away for a daytrip :(

  • Reply Aubry May 1, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Your robe à la circassienne looks amazing! I love the back pleats and am looking forward to hearing about how you draped those.

  • Reply Cate J. May 4, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I echo Chris D’s post – Your diaries are very helpful to me in terms of problem solving and inspiration and I, too, would be sad to see them go. I agree there are many blogs now, but I still come back to yours first and foremost. As for comments, this is the first I have ever left for you, being basically a shy-ish person. In an event, I look forward to reading about your creations, in whatever form.

  • Reply ZipZip May 5, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Agree with Kate J. and Chris D. Your blog, along with Catherine Caron-Greig’s, were among the first blogs I read (jeepers, in 2006!) , and your dress diaries made a great difference in how I have approached sewing issues. Can understand you might be a bit done after years of writing them, but if you ever get the itch to show us how you solved something particularly vexing, or just feel like working out an idea online, you have lots of devoted readers who will be most happy to follow along.

    Very best from lurker-land,

    Natalie (aka Zip Zip)

  • Reply Saraquill May 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Please describe what a robe à la circassienne is, when you have the time. The name sounds quite festive.

    Also, please don’t beat yourself up over how you do or don’t update your progress. Do what makes you happy.

  • Reply Andrea May 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Your blog is an amazing resource and I have enjoyed reading it over the years. Although I can understand how you feel, your dress diary will be missed.

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