So my original plan for the Georgian Picnic was to make my curtain-along jacket, but as you can see, that didn't happen. I am a hopeless sheep when it comes to costumes, so when my wonderful friend from Before the Automobile decided that she was going to make a redingote for our event, I decided that I HAD to have one too! I've been wanting a redingote for years and years, but I've always been intimidated by the tailoring involved. Luckily several of my online friends who have made redingotes in the past helped me out and shared patterns, construction tips, and fabric sources to get me started. I am SO grateful for their help!
Quartermaster General. They were shiny silver when I got them, but I added some black enamel paint in the recesses to make the design stand out better. My neckerchief is made from silk organza, the petticoat is cotton voile, and my sash is satin. The hat is a cheap straw gardening hat that I found at an estate sale. I covered it with wool and decorated it with a vintage moire ribbon and a few feathers in a manner somewhat similar to the all-black hat shown at the bottom of this fashion plate.
I didn't take construction photos because I'm still a total novice when it comes to proper 18th c. dressmaking techniques, so I don't want to lead anybody astray or draw attention to all of my mistakes. But I will tell you that I the lower lapels are interlined with heavy linen, and the capes are interlined with medium weight hair canvas. Although the lapels worked just fine without the hair canvas, I wish I had interlined the front of the bodice with hair canvas. Because the bodice is so extremely low cut there isn't much there to support the weight of the lapels, so it tends to droop a little and make wrinkles on the lower bodice. I might try to retro-fit the bodice with some more interlining to see if that helps a little, but that was my only major complaint about the way it fits. The capes were crazy looking at first because they were so stiff and perky, but after lots and lots of steaming and shaping over a tailor's ham, they decided to cooperate and lay nicely. I will also need to go back and re-hem my skirt at some point. It's about an inch longer than it should be in the front, and the method that I used for the hem was a complete disaster. I used the le point a rabattre sous la main stitch described in Costume Close Up, but the way the thread wraps around the edge of the hem makes it snag easily on just about anything, and my skirt was a puckered mess before the end of the picnic. Oh well, lesson learned.
One of the scariest parts about this project for me was figuring out the pattern for the bodice, so I thought I'd show you what my pattern pieces looked like. Sometimes it's just nice to know what shapes you should be shooting for. My pattern was made from a combination of draping and looking at the redingote pattern diagram from the book Die Kostümsammlung der Familie von Bassermann-Jordan als Beispiel für die zeitgenössische bürgerliche Mode von 1760-1870 by Heidede Biegler-Sander. Although the huge lapels and capes look really fancy when they are done, they were very straight-forward to pattern. I had to do a bit of alterations in the final fitting, but this still pretty close to what I used for my dress.
So that's about it. I didn't get a lot of formal pictures of my dress last weekend, but maybe I'll get a chance to do some more this winter. Thanks again to Cynthia and Christopher for letting me borrow a few of theirs, and once again, you can find more candid pics in my flickr.
|BTW, this is my "OMG I'm at the GEORGIAN PICNIC" happy face! :)|