|The fit is not final, but the look is close.|
The try-on did not go smoothly at first. Stays were too loose, the petticoat kept slipping down, the bum roll made me look pregnant up high and in behind, not in front, and thus look a freak. A wide sash with this dress smelled of mutton dressing as lamb, and at 47, lamb I am not, not even lamb-ish, anymore.
The fit is not final, but the general shape is closer:
- Neckline is opened up, like my reference fashion plate, although at this point in the day I think that it could be opened even more, and the shoulders narrowed perhaps a half an inch.
- It's hard to see here but the folds have downwards curves as planned. I am going to set them in to help.
- Minimizing the waist with a tight fit, but allowing a tiny bit of blousing over the sash, which is hard to see here.
- A dart at the armscye, lower front, on each side to tighten the fit.
- A button-and-loop may be fixed just below the shoulders to shape the neckline, a la Janet Arnold's half robe and the details on the May 1795 Gallery of Fashion fashion plate. Right now we have pins only. Unless I go for a frill (see below).
- Flattening of fabric under the arms to tighten it still needs to be done. Looseness there widens the waistline too much.
- Recut of strap connection to back of dress needs to be made to tighten the neckline fit in back. Right now there is a gap.
The effect of the try-on today also means changes to my original idea, copying that Luxus fashion plate. I have no extra voile to spare, so cannot achieve that very boufy front, and at the moment am not sure I want to. I really think such a front would be best made with very soft revers, and I have no extant gown that has that sort of effect. As a reminder, here is the inspiration plate.
Given that I cannot, with the materials at hand, get to the inspiration plate the way I want to, the dress inspiration is morphing a little, such that the bodice will lean more towards two portrait miniatures you have seen.
This 1795 portrait miniature below:
And this one:
The ensembles share a number of similarities...loose sleeves, the very open neckline.
What may work better for me, after all the try-ons, than the original, Luxus plate:
- The tighter-fitting bodice, less gathered bodice, with the waist-minimizing effect that will have.
- Pulling the front over sharply, and the tiny tie, to add waist interest, without adding the visual width of a sash.
- This also gets me around the perplexing issue of how the sash fits in back, allowing the back to fall smoothly.
- The very narrow space between neckline and armscye seam to pull the sleeves up onto the shoulder, narrowing -- I hope -- the entire front view.
- The frill, which here is clearly lace, might be a nice softening touch. We will have to try that and see. Finding good lace will be difficult, but perhaps hemstitched gauze might work well.