starlightmasque (starlightmasque) wrote,
starlightmasque
starlightmasque

Taupe Robe a la Francaise: DONE!

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You know, I couldn't decide between two stomacher styles...

So I made both!

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I am so pleased to finally be done with this gown. I really love it! I think it turned out exactly as planned. Well, okay, 98% of plan. Well, no, okay, 89% of plan. Whatever. IT'S DONE!

I guess I have to reel back to where I left off-- I had the sleeves done, and SO MUCH came after it, that I'm afraid you are in for a mountain of photos to scroll through. Sorry. I can't help myself.

First I had to connect the gown at the shoulders and sew down the remainder of the bodice furbelows around the back of the neck...

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Then I had to get the main bulk of the furbelows onto the skirt...

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Making some pleats...

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I felt like I was furbelowing for days. That was a lot of work! Getting it even and balanced and pleasing to the eye was no small feat!

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Checking the scale...

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Thankfully I did not run out of beaded trim! I think I made it out with about 8 inches to spare. After using nearly 50 yards of this stuff willy-nilly, having only 8 inches left is a miracle!

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I had to pre-puff the skirt puffs, I just couldn't draw a wiggly line on the gown and then tack them on like I did for the underskirt... I had to see it and space it with my eyes,  I wasted too much time trying to get it mathmatically right. I have a pretty good eye, I think it worked out for the best!

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There, all the front furbelows on... pretty!

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Sewing the front to the back at the sides...

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Pinning and sewing together the pannier humps...

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Cutting the discreet hidden pocket slit, have to reach into those pannier pockets somehow!

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Handsewing on the pearls to each pinch pleat...

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I still wasn't totally happy-- the original gown I'm "inspired by" had these beautiful chenille-looking tassels-- and, well, there was no way I was going to find or make those. I thought about making tassels from thread, then from beads, then from fabric edged with beads, and all sorts of cockamamie ideas that sucked.  Finally I started digging around in my room and the pearls were staring me in the face. AHA! PEARLS! So, I made pearl tassels.

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I just love the way they turned out! They swing and dangle nicely, too.

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For the stomacher I had two strong ideas, but wasn't sure which to make. I printed some museum extant stomacher photos and pinned them to the dress to get a faint idea as to what would look good-- recognize them? LOL!

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I liked the jewelry/pearl idea. *cough*pearl whore*cough*

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But, I also loved the silver embroidery idea. So, I cobbled together a stomacher embroidery design using commercial components. I arranged them to suit the stomacher shape and voila! (We just won't be talking about how long that actually took me, how many samples I had to stitch out at four hours each, how much thread and stabilizer I wasted, how many needles I blew through, how much fussing I did-- not to mention the scary-ass fact that I only had enough fabric left for ONE real stitch out. If I screwed it up it was game over and I'd have to do something else without embroidery... and I really really REALLY wanted the embroidery.)

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There it goes, my one and only shot at doing this right! I was nervous the whole time it was stitching out. What if it buckles? What if the thread snarls up? What if it fucks up so much I just can't save it? AAAAIIIIIIII!!!

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It actually turned out fairly well! (cue Jaws theme music here)

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Shit! It puckered. I don't know why, clearly my skills need improving. Maybe I had it too tight in the hoop and after it relaxed it wanted to be in its original form, and puckered. It was a big ol' Puck You! to me. Gah! But, I had come too far to give up. So, you wanna know how I saved it?

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I blinged the shit out of that motherfucker. I glued pearls and Swarovski flat backs all over the damn place. Pucker? BLING! Snag? BLING! Empty spot? BLING! BLING! BLING!

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The other stomacher I just made some bows, and added some rhinestone buttons and pearl dangles. I think it gives her a very different look for the same dress! I really had to make those bows out of garbage scraps-- I really wanted to make the second stomacher, but I had practically nothing left! Just scraps! But, I managed somehow to make it work. Tim Gunn would be so proud of me.

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Those buttons always make me laugh-- I've had them for about 15 years, and I thought they were old vintage lovelies, and were a one of a kind set. Ha! Walking through Fabric Depot there was a whole rack of them. Well, at least I know where to find replacements if one falls off!

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The sleeves have a little crystal and pearl thing going on, too.  Those were actually a pair of my old Trifari earrings, I haven't worn then in over twenty years (shit, has it really been that long? I'm so old!) and I thought they would be perfect right there-- and they are! They are probably pretty happy to be foxxing about again.

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Whoa those big black snaps are hideous!  Thankfully no one sees them when they are all snugged together. They sure do a great job, though!

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I had to hand sew those suckers on.  You know how I adore handsewing. I wanted to use the machine to tack them on like I did on the gown, but these were domed and had the inverted knobby thingamajig and just wouldn't do it. Hand sewing! 20 snaps! 6 holes each!  Bah! I ran though about 47 Alias episodes on Netfix getting them done.  Of course black thread would have been better. I made a bad choice... but I'm NOT doing it over!

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So, there we go. All done. It isn't hemmed, Lucia will need to have that done once it reaches her-- hemming is always better in person! I wish I could deliver it to her in person, but, well, Italy is rather out of reach at the moment. *drifts off dreaming of Italy...*
Tags: 18th century, completed project post, embroidery, furbelows, lucia, robe a la francaise
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