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Tag Archives: 18th century

Robe a la Francaise (18th Century Lolita) Dress Project

My silk robe a la francaise dress is finished! I don’t have any in progress pictures because I originally made the dress before I had this blog, but recently revamped it for a fashion show. (I added an invisible zipper, Watteau back, ribbon flowers and front bows).

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This dress is a combination of 2 inspirations: 18th century French fashion, and Japanese lolita fashion. The dress is too short for the former and a little long for the latter, but my intention was to marry the two into something decadent but wearable.

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A side view:

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The bodice panel is salvaged from a vintage wedding dress. I love the beading! I added the venise lace, pleated neckline, ribbon roses and bows.

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More close-ups:

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The back of the dress features Watteau pleats in the robe a la francaise style. Historically, these would be sewn into the back of the dress but I made mine detachable so I could iron it. It reminds me of a super-hero cape!

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Here’s the back of the neck:

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The dress is two parts (an underskirt and an overdress). The underskirt’s hem has wide venise lace, which is also used for the sleeve cuffs on the overdress.

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The overskirt is edged with floral venise lace and little ribbon flowers. (It took a very long time to sew everything on by hand). The big silk flowers were salvaged from the vintage wedding dress.

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I wore the ensemble at a GBACG fashion show, along with vintage leather gloves with cutouts, and a sculpted clay tiara (that I had worn for my wedding).

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All the fabric for this dress was taken from a vintage silk wedding dress I found in a thrift shop. The middle panel with the beading was taken intact but all pieces of fabric in my dress were recut by me. Here’s a picture of it before I took it apart.

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It was an early 90s dress with a V back, puffed sleeves and a long waist.Image

Look at all that fabric in the train!

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I also used the lining from the dress to line my dress. I already had the venise lace and roses, so this project was very economical compared to buying many yards of new silk. This fabric was also very nice to work with. It is very crisp, ironed well and holds its shape. I would like to work with more silk taffeta in the future if I can find another cheap source of it!

GBACG 18th Century Revolutionary Picnic

Yesterday I attended an 18th-Century themed picnic hosted by the Greater Bay Area Costumer’s Guild.

I wore my recently completed wool riding jacket.

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It was in Tiburon, California.  It was a beautiful day with a wedding nearby. Some of the guests occasionally wandered over to ask us what we were doing.

I was wearing my new silk clocked stockings from American Duchess. My leather shoes and reproduction buckles are also made by her.

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The shoes are very popular in our local costuming group. I found 5 of us wearing red ones at the picnic!

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Some improvements I would like to make for this outfit next time:

– constructing a bum roll (to pad out the back)

– stiffening the jacket to reduce the buckling I saw in the front

– making a new hat

– getting a more appropriate wig

I ran short of time to make or find a “hedgehog wig” used in the late 18th century so I modified my old Marie Antoinette tall poufy wig from last Halloween. Since it’s hollow inside I squished it down, held it in place with black bobby pins and sprayed it with dry shampoo to reduce the shine.

The rest of my pictures from the picnic are located on my Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vivien_misc/sets/72157631658642531/

18th Century Inspired Riding Habit Done!

I finished my jacket over a week ago but haven’t gotten around to posting pictures because I was wondering if it needed more cockades. (I might save those for a hat).

The jacket is made of powder blue Merino wool and lined with linen and cotton.

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The gold-colored silk skirt was previously made to go with a green dress, hence the ruffled green trim on the bottom.

The cotton lace is vintage and was given to me by a friend.

The cuffs and collar are made from the same embroidered cotton jacquard the false vest is made from. The mini cockades are made from pleated ribbon and gold/silver-colored buttons.

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I plan to wear the ensemble at a Revolutionary Picnic hosted by the California Greater Bay Area Costumer’s Guild, along with shoes and stockings from American Duchess.