I decided to construct it by putting together first the back, then the front, then lining them up and sewing them together along the front side seam. It worked really nicely!
The front panel was originally two panels of fabric but when I tried it on it was way too much fabric - 45" turned out to be just right amount after all! I decided to be a little different from the repros I've seen and gathered a bit of the front panel along the shoulder strap before starting the drawstring front. I also didn't shape the front neckline piece at all, just gathered it up a little looser and allowed gravity to take over. The drawstring is totally ghetto - I zigzagged the top edge, folded it over once and stitched. So lazy - but hey it works! :>
I then tried it on, without stays, mostly to check the skirt front (which is just the right length without a hem, opps), the placement of the waist (which should be slightly high) and to figure out where the sleeves should go (since I'm mixing and matching patterns, hence no matching notches). I have to say I ADORE this frock. I wasen't so sure about it until I tried it on and added the wide sash. It's super fun and girly to wear, helped a great deal by the heaps of fullness (well 4 panels of fabric!) in the back. Add a full petticoat and a bum roll of doom and this gaulle might inch out my peach chemise à la reine as my favorite summer frock. :>
The hem... came out a bit short, just like on my chemise à la reine- what is up with me and the gathered front frocks! I'm thinking a false hem (maybe cut on the bias to take advantage of my stripage) or maybe even a little 1.5" ruffle. To be honest I haven't seen ruffles on gaulles or chemise à la reines but I have seen them on petticoats of the period. Is that too far a stretch do you think?
I thought the waist looked a little low in back at first but after double checking the gaulle in Marie Antoinette it looks the same to me so I don't know. Ponders...
The sleeves. *sigh* After I took these pics I basted one in place (with pins) and tried it on again. Somehow they are off, there is too much fabric in the front and not enough in the back, almost like the top of the sleeve is backward. But I know it's not because that would make all the elbow darts backward. This is the sleeve I used on my red silk anglaise in Jan - it doesn't make any sense that it would be wrong. I'm going to try it on again with stays this time to see if that makes a difference. If it continues to be a butt head for much longer I may just switch to the two-piece long sleeve, which is probably more accurate anyway. I was just thinking for a hot summer day + badminton, the one-piece three quarter sleeve might be more comfy.