|Completed Vernet embroidery. Upside down, I've noticed. Pray it doesn't end up that way on the dress.|
It could, you know. I'm the sort to do that, thinking all the while I have it right.
Well, well. Done. Is it as smooth as the work of experienced hands? Why no. Will it look better when washed and pressed? Yes.
Where does the embroidery go? Not at the hem, where it was so common to embroider. On the bodice. More than half hidden by boufy drapery. Peeking through the gauze will soften the edges.
Jenni of Living with Jane and I mocked up the bodice. I took a dress from the book Die Kostümsammlung der Familie Bassermann-Jordan, an excellent book of 18th and 19th century extant clothing and patterns from an upper-class German family. (Sabine, it has been invaluable). The dress design dates to 1804-07, but bodice designs changed slowly, and the smooth front and overlong sleeves were just what I was looking for. Thanks too to Diary of a Mantua Maker, who showed how a cotton Regency dress can be made mostly out of oblongs.
Then we did what is now natural to us, as it has been to women for centuries. I pulled out an old draw-string dress that fits well, put pattern paper atop, marked the bodice lines, and cut out a base pattern.
From there it was looking at the Basserman-Jordan dress and its pattern pieces and making cuts to the pattern. I cut the back in half and ignored the old seam lines, making the common center-back opening with gathers.
In front I substituted a straight front, flanked by straight straps that go up over the shoulders and meet at the back, as so many 18th century gowns and Regency dresses do (this observation from Diary of a Mantua Maker). Separate side pieces went away after Jenni reminded me that I had excess.
All that was left of the old pattern was the sizing and a few helpful curves at key seam spots.
I basted it up, and Jenni fitted it: the dress is more snug than a regular scoop-front drawstring dress, so there was a good bit to remove.
The fabric is now cut and awaits sewing up.
Next time I'll introduce you to the details of the Bassermann-Jordan dress and its writeup in the Sammlung. We'll do a quick comparison to the dresses worn by the French greeting contingent as they met their returning King Louis...there is much in common in the silhouette.
Then it's on to cutting the skirt and sleeves. The skirt is austere, an attractive, crisp A-line I am familiar with from the 1960s. The sleeves are bohemian! Sleeves and overskirt are in silk gauze. We'll save the war on the gauze with starch and needle for another time.
Today I leave you with peace. May it pervade your day, even if, as for me, it started out rocky. May we learn to breathe and rest like cats do.
|Ladybug napping and ignoring my artistic draping to see how the embroidery looks in black and white.|