Jenny La Fleur
pet en l'air issues - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
pet en l'air issues

My stays are done - yay! I took pics for you but they came out horribly so I will try again tomorrow. The stays are pretty though - I'm very pleased!!

I started work on my bleu outfit today. It went okay. Well, slightly less than that actually. The plan is to make a version of the above outfit from Marie Antoinette. In short a bleu pet en l'air. After much research and trying to wrap my head around the whole sack thing, I printed out some inspiration/reference for my walls and went to work.

I cut out a rough lining from my basic anglaise pattern, trimming away the front and adding a false stomacher piece. I then began on the outer toile, which is when the slightly less than okay part of the day kicked in. I messed about with the back pleats for a while before concluding that my toile fabric was just not wide enough (fashion fabric is a bit wider luckily). So I decided to move on the front and mess with pleating later. The first draping totally didn't work and the second only a bit better.

I can't figure out how you can possibly use one piece of fabric from stomacher front to back/side seam without darts or tucks or another seam. There is just too much area to cover and without something to release the stress it buckles and wrinkles most un attractively. I'm not seeing evidence of tucks or darts though, except were the front bodice and skirt are cut separately (which is not how the MA or Arnold ones I'm copying are done). Am I missing something?

I'm not sure I can make the pet en l'air anyway as I have a very limited amount of fabric to play with. This sack thing really sucks up the yardage! I don't know. It's so much easier to skimp when you know what you are doing, which I don't. I'm hoping the whole thing will look better in the morning 'cause right now it's just not giving me warm fuzzies...

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7 comments | comment?
gilded_garb From: gilded_garb Date: March 29th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) (link)
I don't know if this is any help, but it really looks like there's a tuck taken in the MA gown that gives a sort of robing look. Behold my mad photoshop skillz:

Anyway, it looks like there are still some left over stress wrinkles but that's just the way this type of jacket is going to go. It's the same thing that happened with my caraco - I have too much surface area for the fit to be as perfect as it is in some of the extant jackets on custom museum mannequins.
demode From: demode Date: March 29th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC) (link)
Oh yes, I feel your pain on this one!!! Here's what I've figured out: in the 1740s/50s, it was common to cut the front without a waist seam or tuck (what we'd call a dart :), the fitting was consequently loose and bunchy. 1760s-70s, they did usually have a waist seam/tuck to deal with the bunchy-ness.

I agree that the MA pet-en-l'air looks bunchy around the waist. If it were me, I'd just do a waist seam/tuck there. When we made our sacques with Janea Whitacre from Colonial Williamsburg, she had a bunch of us (me included!) take a big ol' tuck at the waist (again, what I'd call a dart!).

And I am amused that I am on your wall!
demode From: demode Date: March 29th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC) (link)
Oh and re: the 1740s-50s bunchy thing -- look at period portraits, you'll notice they don't pin the CF down as far as they do later, allowing the skirting to hang loose over the true waist area.
demode From: demode Date: March 29th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (link)
Crikey - last one, I am annoying! If you look at the picture of my francaise front laid out, you can see the pins marking the lines of the tuck/dart that I made on mine. It's way bigger than just the slit.
joysdaughter From: joysdaughter Date: March 29th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC) (link)
Have a look at the caraco front in Arnold. That's what I used for my Venetian lady. You can always add the pet-en-l'air back to the caraco front. Also I think the riding habit has a separate skirt, so you could look at that for reference too?
sarahnucci From: sarahnucci Date: March 29th, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC) (link)
There is a tuck under the false robing front - that usually falls under the shoulder portion. You can also do it under the wasit portion of it. The lining underneath, in the back, fastens with eyeylets laced down - to hold it tight and to let it out if you even need to. Does that help? I can pull out the pattern for my pet en l'air later if you need more help.
jennil From: jennil Date: March 29th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC) (link)
Hooray for finishing your stays! *organizes parade in Jenny-Rose's honor* :)
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