Saturday, May 15, 2010

Green Gown with Thistle Somacher, 1750-80

The green gown with thistle stomacher is finished!

This is my 2nd to last "it's taken forever" project from last year, and it feels sooo good to be done...

And she likes it!

I won't go into how to make yet another English Gown.

The gown is made from a light to medium weight linen that was a lovely acid green which I over-dyed to this fantastic grass-green. In sunlight, some of the yellow undertones still show up, playing very nicely with the brighter green in the stomacher.

It's lined with a lightweight but stiff black linen to give it shape & a little more substance. The bodice is lightly boned, laces in front with space for the stomacher to fill in the gap.
The skirts have a slight pick-up in the back via loops & ties, but can be worn long.

The cut & style are what I would call a remade gown or a later gown with earlier hold-overs, which was done all the time; rather like a middle aged or older woman saying "just look at what those kids are wearing today!" and a young woman looking at Grandma's gown and thinking "yeah, if I change THAT and this, it'll be perfect!"

The bodice is totally separate from the skirt, as in the 1760-80 cuts, the false pleats & sleeves are 1750-60 with their generous ease (she'll be able to move her arms), and the braid trim on back is very 1760-80.

The entire dress is hand finished with green or black cotton thread.

As in everything I do, if I had it to do again I would change some things.
The back would be cut in one with the skirt (which I may start doing with most of my English Gowns as it gets rid of the odd shape that the detached skirt makes at the point... and that I have to fuss with to get it to lay right...)
The braid would have tassels on the ends, and the sleeves would be a little more decorative... perhaps a cuff, flounce or more braid.
I would pair it with a black linen petticoat.

"Simple" was the customer request, and I think I achieved simple and elegant all in one.

The next few weeks promise to be very, very busy and involve lots of multitasking, paperwork and perhaps some electric saws & wood glue. Then I'm off to my first event!

End note: packing for my first event. The wooden clothes rack is finished & will go on the first test run this week. I'm hoping it will work much better than the hangers. We shall see...

1 comment:

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

The peg rack is wonderful. No clothes on the ground, looks fantastic & though people were hesitant to take the garments down to look at them, I did fairly well with sales.