Saturday, February 29, 2020

Carnivale Gown based loosely off of Felicity's Christmas Gown

After the Ball
The gown above is what I wore to the Mascheranda Ball during Carnivale in Venice.  It was one of the last balls (probably the last one this year) for the Carnivale season.  I had fun (even if I almost fainted at one point) and absolutely loved my gown.  It needs some small touches, but overall, it is one of my favorites so far.

The Inspiration:

The Couture Courtesan did a stunning recreation of the gown a few years ago that I got to see in person at one point. I really hadn't planned on making my own recreation but the silk taffeta I used was only €3 a meter and I cannot pass up a deal like that. Also, it is exactly the right color to make the gown. The silk taffeta begged to be made into Felicity's Christmas Gown. Since I've always been a fan of the pink front stomacher, I decided to go with that instead.

When planning out the gown, I wanted to keep it semi-historical as possible. I wasn't going to handsew the entire thing but I didn't want to get too anachronistic either. So, I decided to keep the colors and overall shape of the stomacher (more on that in a bit), the trim type (ie, the way it goes up and down the robings and is pleated), and the matching petticoat. When researching dresses with similar trims, I kept coming back to one thing:

Woman's Dress and Petticoat (Robe à la française) - LACMA

Robe á la Francaise
Robe á la Francaise- Nordiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Robe à la Française - MET
They were all Robe à la Françaises and not Anglaise.  So, a Robe à la Française it is!  I may have bought uh....10 or so meters of the blue silk taffeta so I wasn't worried about fabric usage.  At all.

The stomacher on Felicity's dress is, of course, meant to kinda look right while also be expedient for making a doll's dress for little girls to play with.  The ombre pink ribbon with a twist in the middle isn't exactly period.  However, a very similar "look" was - this:

Portrait d'une femme en robe de satin bleu, 1760 Christian Friedrich Reinhold von Lisiewski

English American Stomacher - RISD Museum

Manchester Art Gallery
I kept with the three daggings meeting to make it look more like Felicity's dress, rather than add additional ones.  I used silver buttons, rather than pearls, mainly because I lost my beading needle and have no idea where it is.  I need to order a new one.

The materials:

The blue silk taffeta was really only €3 a meter at my local thrift store.  Once a season, they get in the "not quite right" fabrics from the designers in Milan.  These fabrics sometimes have something wrong with them - a spot here or a bit of undyed yarn.  I saw the orange stickers on the blue taffeta but I have zero idea what is wrong with it.  It looks fine to me.  

The pink shantung I got from Silks Unlimited on ebay for $17 a yard. They, luckily, have a pretty good selection and the color was exactly what I needed. I bought 5 yards and maybe used a 1/4 of that?

The silver trim is some trim I bought, I think, back in 2016 as part of a very large, very big bin of "just take it!" at a SCA shopping event known as Holiday Faire.  The entire bin (think enough to stuff a body in tubberware container) was $15.  And yes, I stuffed all the trims from that bin into my suitcase last year and brought them over with me.  Because...necessary.

The silver buttons were also stash.

The Pattern:

Technically, I used this:

To make a Robe à la Française.  Yes, it's not a Robe à la Française pattern.  In fact, my pattern, I seemed to have lost the sleeve too.  Basically, this was only a base and I went off from there.  I also drafted my own sleeve again.

The gown:

The skirt

The gown

The stomacher looking wonky 

Me, with the dress half off!  Ha!
It's not perfect, but I love it!  I still have some of the blue taffeta and a lot of the pink left.  I might make a very different gown out of it now that the Felicity one is out of the way!


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