Tuesday, November 22, 2016

1795 Half-Mourning Robe

Every year, the DFWCG holds a Georgian Picnic, and as usual, I waited until the very last minute to decide what to wear.  I had originally planned on wearing something old, but my state of mind since the election has been pretty gloomy, so I decided to wear my heart on my sleeve and make another mourning gown.

I was originally inspired by a fashion plate from Gallery of Fashion showing an "afternoon dress, in half-mourning" that combined a black robe with a white round gown.  I already had a white gown, and I found a 3 yard piece of black wool in my stash that would work great for the robe. Luckily, I also had some good 1790s patterns that I had drafted for previous projects, so it ended up being a really quick and easy garment to put together.

A black robe on its own is pretty boring, but I also found lots of examples of 1790s robes edged with fur, which seemed like a perfect choice for a November picnic (you can see a variety of robe fashion plates here).  I picked up a yard of faux fur and used this to trim the edges of the robe, and I also made a new muff since the 1790s is ALL about the accessories.

Turbans are the most common type of headwear that women seemed to wear with this type of gown, and the crazy-long feathers add such a fun finishing touch.  Since I was short on time, I made a really simple fixed turban by tacking a long strip of silk over a wool hat blank.  I also wore my curly grey wig to try to mimic the look of the ladies in these fashion plates.

So that's pretty much it!  My obsession with 1790's fashion knows no bounds, and it was a lot of fun to make another robe to add to my growing collection.

As usual, I'll post a few of my favorite photos here, and the rest are on Flickr.