Jenny La Fleur
the prettiest toile ever - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
the prettiest toile ever

I made some good progress on the pearl dress toile. I hate to call it a toile, it came out so pretty. The fabric is a lovely lemony yellow poly-something murth gave me a while back. It wasn’t something I could use for re-enacting (it's a little too slubby) and it was close to the weight and drape of my pearl silk so I decided to use it as a mock-up for this. I really took my time on this, using proper stitch lentghs and such, not the useal quick-fire sloppiness my toiles are. So I'm thinking of finishing it and selling it on ebay or something - waste not, want not! :>

I, per usual, ignored the directions on the pattern and did it my own way. The biggest change I made to the pattern itself was to change the front panel to one piece (shoulder to floor). The bodice is lined and a drawstring channel is sewn in at the waist. I left off the separate bodice lining the pattern features (Bridget found it rather annoying to deal with) and simply added a length of twill tape as a waist stay in front.

I like it and Mom assures me I don't look hideous and fat in this style so I'm going to go ahead with the Pearl in the same pattern. The pearl silk is a little thinner and "crisper" so it should look even better than this. I'm only wondering if the bottom of the skirt is full enough...

I'll take better pics of the altered construction along the way. Overall I like this style, I should be able to make it up quickly and I like the fact I can take it on and off by myself. I'm really digging the drawstrings and lack of nit-picky fitting. It's been a very nice break from the Redingote.


17 comments | comment?
quincy134 From: quincy134 Date: March 13th, 2008 11:49 am (UTC) (link)
Wow, you're right, that is way too pretty to just be a toile!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (link)
Yeah, perhaps I was trying too hard? *hee hee*
bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: March 13th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC) (link)
That has to be about the prettiest toile ever!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (link)
Gee, thanks! *grin*
girliegirl32786 From: girliegirl32786 Date: March 13th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC) (link)
Oh that is just so lovely! I cant wait to see it made up in the pearl silk. It will be stunning!
And Im excited to hear more about how you altered the construction.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC) (link)
I can't wait either! More on the altered construction coming right up...
butterballbunny From: butterballbunny Date: March 13th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) (link)
Totally pretty! Not even remotely looking like a toile! :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC) (link)
Hee hee!
jehanni From: jehanni Date: March 13th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC) (link)
I know the hesitation you felt when considering the gathered front skirt: I, too, worry with my figure it will look too poofy, and tend to make up straight skirt fronts, shoving the gathers off to the back. But your dancing dress/toile shows how beautifully soft folds catch the sheen and drape of the fabric, and reflect the light--and the back looks terrific, too. Excellent toilery!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! I'm so glad you think so! I was really unsure of this style on me, hence the need for a full and decent looking mock-up. I was not going to waste my fabric on a frock I though un-flattering. In my world dress-up is about being a pretty, pretty princess after all. :>
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 13th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC) (link)
Absolutely beautiful! Definitely finish it! I agree, you can never have too many Regency dancing dresses! :o)

When you say the front panel is one piece all the way to the floor, do you mean you’ve basically cut a long rectangle with neckline and armscye and shoulder strap shaping from the pattern and then added a casing under bust and at the neckline? Did you add or take away any fullness? I really like the look and would consider something similar, if I understand correctly.

An option for hem line fullness is to add the wedge shaped piece so common in period to the side seam.

I really like it a lot! You know, this could make a VERY nice later chemise gown!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC) (link)
I'll be posting more pics of the pattern pieces and construction shortly but you have it essentially correct. It is an interesting transition gown from the Chemise la Reine to the later "Regency" frocks, you can see elements of both. I'm, of course, pushing it more back toward the Chemise la Reine with my changes... Pretty fun really!

I thought about adding a wedge to the side seam but I haven't seen any evidence of them in this late 1790s, early 1800s style. All the skirts I've seen are straight panels until 1809 or so. I'd love to hear more about period examples of the wedges!
mala_14 From: mala_14 Date: March 13th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC) (link)
Definitely the prettiest toile ever. It looks really great. And you're right, you can never have too many Regency dancing dresses! (Because we all like to be such good influences when it comes to adding more clothes to the wardrobe. ;p)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC) (link)
*looks at bursting costume closet* Yes I don't need much encouragment. :>
anielmom From: anielmom Date: March 14th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC) (link)
Super pretty! One more dress never hurt anybody, (except maybe my hubby who doesn't quite get the whole "dress up" game)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 14th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC) (link)
Very true, but then guys collect things we don't get either! :>
anielmom From: anielmom Date: March 15th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC) (link)
Oh so true! Like cars that they never drive and are only good for collecting dust and spiders.
17 comments | comment?