Monday, September 9, 2013

18th c. Barbie

A desire to feel like a pretty pretty princess, for Costume College this year is the whole reason this costume came to be. Having never been a hug fan of pink the dress, I am very surprised how much I like this dress. I gave it the nickname 18th c. Barbie. Can you honestly tell me if Barbie had been around in the 18th century she wouldn't have been rocking this outfit?
Being relatively new to 18th century sewing and its research, I am choosing to call this outfit a Casaque gown. If you are better educated then I and there is a better title for this please let me know.

I want to start with giving credit to Aubry of A fractured fairytale for her help with this gown. I was pulling in a lot of overtime at work and I was afraid I would be costume-less at Costume College. Thankfully, Aubry answered my inquiry on LJ asking if anyone was taking on commissions.  She took on the side hoops and skirt for this outfit, while I finished the corset and top.  Needless to say she finished way before me so my dress dummy was wearing just the bottom half for awhile.  If Aubry is ever taking commissions again I highly recommend her! Great communication all to make sure it was exactly what I wanted which included lots of pictures, tons of patience, (I had her try a couple things with the trim) and beautiful work. 

For the top I started with the Woman's Casaque pattern from Mill Farm Patterns. But after the initial mock up I only used the general shape and draped from there. I extended the back and side pieces and also lengthened it. After that I eyeballed the original pattern for the pleats and fudged them until it worked. There may have been an easier way because I did re-pleat the back around 7 or so times, but in the end it worked for me. I used the same method for the front pleats and the width on the box pleat on the side. The pattern for the sleeves was to small for me, so I mocked one up using 18th century sleeves from The Cut of Women's Clothes by Norah Waugh as my reference. I used Katherine's of The Fashion Past, tutorial for setting the sleeve.

Once the shell was assembled I went back and forth on how exactly I wanted to trim it. I eventually settled on the light pink silk box-pleated with white silk gauze poofs to imitate the skirts trim. I ran out of the light pink but the trim will eventually go around the bottom hem also. The sleeves will also have white poofs added to the trim at the cuffs.

Before I wear it again I will also have a different stomacher. I have grand plans of a silk and metal embroidered one but until then the one I wore works nicely. 

I accessorized with American Duchess' Georgiana shoes. a custom made necklace from ScaredCake on Etsy and a feather... of course!