Forgive me, I'm going to ramble again. ;) And ask lots of questions, because I'm tired of weighing probabilities and making decisions!
I had a pretty productive day on Sunday. I spent a long time in my stays and got a pretty good 1780s base pattern. Then I traced off versions specifically for the white silk chemise gown (front lining piece, back in two pieces and one with tuck) and for the matelasse waistcoat (lace up front, separate side front/side back tab/peplum pieces). I still need a sleeve pattern; first an elbow-length base pattern, and then the long one with a cuff for the chemise. It was late by the time I finished drafting on Sunday, so I didn't even consider testing a sleeve. That may wait until the weekend. Which means I shouldn't cut out the white silk yet anyway.
But on that subject, there are two things I'm not sure about how to do:
1. Cuffs on the sleeves. (picture
) They're the regular long, slim sleeves, but they clearly have a two-button cuff that's probably about 2.5" wide. Is this a structural cuff, or just a band laid on top of a regular sleeve? There are several similar sleeves in Cut of Women's Clothes
, particularly the polonaise jacket on page 96, but it's just a diagram showing placement.
2. How to cut the front and how full to make the skirt? These two things are pretty closely related. I missed the chemise dress boat a loooong time ago, so I've been re-reading a bunch of stuff. And none of it really helps, because this is a rather unusual chemise dress: it is gathered only slightly. And I want to keep that slight gathering, because I think the neck ruffle is straight-sewn to the edge. If it's too full it will look silly.
But how full is too full? My fabric is 36" wide, lightweight taffeta - still opaque, I wouldn't call it tissue. It won't be too stiff to gather nicely, but too much will be obvious.
Hmm... how about splitting a single length for the gathered portion? The front portion is, say 14" across (more across the bust) so that's a little over 2:1 gathering ratio. It won't be hard to hem the split for the center opening, either, and I can use selvedges for the skirt seams. Speaking off... then I could use three panels for the rest of the skirt. That's a total width of 144", which is comparable to other non-chemise gowns of the same period.
Opinions welcomed! :)
Now for the other issue - this waistcoat. In most examples
, it looks like the edges are bound with tape, self fabric, or ribbon. Of course I'm on a deadline, and this isn't a critical-accuracy garment (more important to have it at all!), so I'd rather not spend all that time on it. However - I'm apparently allergic to visible machine stitching! I thought of stitching on some tape, right sides together, and then turning around and whip stitching down; stupid idea, or will it work? Any better/easier ideas? I feel like I'm missing something.
And I had immediate bum envy when I saw girliegirl32786
's new project.
So of course I'm doing that! :) But I had a sudden thought. I've tended to assume that multiple petticoats go over skirt supports in all periods. I still know the 1860s best, when multiple petticoats are really important for a nice smooth look under the skirt. But that might be coloring my assumptions too much. Will an over-petticoat mess with the silhouette of the new skirt support? This matters because of my white silk. If I use non-white for the bum, I will have to wear a petticoat over it to prevent shadow-through. I have white linen earmarked for an under-petticoat. But if it will obscure the line, should I just use it for the bum itself?
Ah, decisions... and in the meantime I've gotten nothing done this evening...