Recently a group of us noticed that Ikea has some “LJUSÖGA” duvet covers in an pretty floral print with a pattern, scale, and colors appropriate for 18th century cotton dresses.
We each bought a king size set, which included a duvet cover and 2 pillow cases, to make matching dresses with. We estimate there’s about 11 yards of 40 inch fabric, which is an incredible bargain for $30! (The price has now gone up to $40 on the website).
I decided to make an anglaise, and originally planned to start on it after Costume College, but just a few weeks ago we decided to go to the Pirate Festival together, and having nice cotton dresses would be perfect for the weather. (There will be more of us at the next event; some ladies are still working on their dresses).
Due to the short time frame my dress is not quite finished, but was wearable, with some things I’d like to improve for next time:
- I did not have time to put a flounce on my petticoat; it’s a bit shorter than I intended (although it shows off my American Duchess stockings and shoes!)
- The neckline and front of the bodice has ruffled trim instead of box pleats to save time. Now that it’s on I might be too lazy to replace it, but it was originally meant to be temporary.
- My sleeves are untrimmed. I would like to add some ruffling or pleating and some button detail.
- My fichu should be pinned down. I just tied it with a ribbon and it kept riding up until it looked more like a bandana than a fichu.
- I didn’t have time to get a new plain bergere hat to trim, so I reused the small one I wore with my silk francaise.
- My hair is not done in a historically accurate style; I just curled it, made a bun, and then hid the mess with flowers.
- And scandalously, I am not wearing stays(!), so there is a little wrinkling in the bodice. I do own stays, but the festival was outdoors in 90 degree heat, so I decided one less layer was preferable.
Since this is still a work in progress I will do a full post with detail photos, construction notes, and cost breakdown another time, but meanwhile here are a few pictures. The dress consists of a bodice with a front closure, trimmed with ruffles, attached to a pleated overskirt. The petticoat is made of matching fabric. I am wearing those over a bum pad and another petticoat, along with two pockets.
The back of the skirt can be lifted with cords and looped around covered buttons to be worn as a robe à l’Anglaise retroussée. I’m still thinking about adjusting the length of the cords or the distribution of the fabric because this wasn’t quite the look I was aiming for.
I did have a mishap with the buttons. I couldn’t locate my button-covering kit so the night before the festival I just wrapped some fabric around some domed plastic buttons until I could buy more of the right buttons. After I laundered the skirt the dye from the black plastic buttons actually bled through two layers of fabric and onto other parts of my skirt!
After several rounds of OxiClean, and a final careful swabbing of diluted bleach, I have the stains out and I’ve learned my lesson about mystery buttons from the stash. I will stick to my usual metal buttons, like this redcoat who was wearing lots of shiny buttons.