Jenny La Fleur
*whimper* - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
I knew it, I just knew it. If the stays went together fairly painlessly then the dress must be a nightmare. Costuming is never simple. *sigh*

I tried on my latest robe l’anglaise toile this morning and it’s full of issues. This is what, toile number 7?!! Not to mention after a class, endless book and online research. *whimper* It’s so frustrating, with every problem I try to fix two more pop up. And the most frustrating thing is it’s the same wretched issues over and over again. I fix the shoulder and the side seam whacks out. I fix the side seam and the neckline is whacked. I fix the neckline and the shoulder and side seam aren’t right again. For the love of…!!!! And I haven't even gotten to dratted sleeves. Oh joy.

The amazing thing is I’m still motivated and want to work on this project. This time last year I would have given up in disgust. I must be maturing, or crazier - take your pick. I’m just a little stumped as to how to proceed. Obviously draping toile after toile is not working, perhaps my skills are just not up to the task yet. I so wanted to make this pattern myself though!

I think I’m going to swallow my pride and try using a pattern. I’m going to go through our pattern stash but I’ll probably end up sizing up the pattern from Arnold. It’s exactly the dress I want (except for the diagonal stripe in front thing which I’m willing to give into at this point). Using the pattern is not going to be any less work, as it must be sized up and adapted to my modern body but I’m hoping that coming at this style from a different angle will help.

This can’t be this hard, people make 18th century frocks all the time. I must admit I’m feeling very stupid at the moment.


11 comments | comment?
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: March 25th, 2005 10:22 am (UTC) (link)
I'm sorry you're having problems! I know how frustrating it is!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 25th, 2005 10:38 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks Maggie.
From: misscrabtree Date: March 25th, 2005 12:23 pm (UTC) (link)
I think on of the reasons Katherine (Koshka) was so successful with this particular pattern (well overall 18th c) is, she is the size of an 18th c woman. And your right, adopting this eras patters to our modern day size can cause trouble. I sized this pattern up to my size, didnt have much of a problem, however once the bum roll was on and attached the gathered skirt my boot-tay was humongous! 18th c is highly frustrating. But I know your a trooper and will accomplish this project even if you end up in a padded cell, stays, pockets and all :)

Take a break and make something out of pretty Sari material ;)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 25th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC) (link)
LOL! The vision of me in a padded cell clinging to my bum roll... *hahahaha*

*Ahem* Thank you for lightening my day. :>

Yeah, every body type has it's own fitting issues, mine seems to be particularly fiddly for the 18th century. You say you sized up this exact pattern? If I may ask, what size is it once it's all scaled up? I'm sure I'll have to size it up further but I'm curious as to how much.

Ahhh... sari fabric... *stares off dreamily*
From: misscrabtree Date: March 25th, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC) (link)
Yes, it was that exact same pattern. I was making it out of Green Linen. I am not sure what size it sized up to because I freehanded it, cut the toile and once on the dress form I pinned and fiddled with it. If you want I include the sized pattern and the green bodice with your packet. Actually let me get the piece out so I am sure about what I am talking about.....ok my bad, it is the Snowshill Manor dress, the one to the right of the one you want to make. However, I have that toile and the green linen pieces to my right, even the sleeves. If you want the cut-outs let me know. I dont need it cause I aint making that dress lol :)

PS After fiddleing with it, the size was 38 bust 30 waist. I am sure the actual size was tiny.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 25th, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks for the offer but I don't know that I'll use the pieces, although that has is one of my favorite frocks in Arnold. I certainly wouldn't get to it in the near future. :>

The green linen sounds like fun, too bad you won't be finishing the gown. Someday I'd like an 18th century linen frock, linen is such lovely stuff to wear. :>
joysdaughter From: joysdaughter Date: March 25th, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC) (link)


Don't worry about the foundation for this dress. Use the pattern from your Diderot corset, and cut it on the same grain as the foundation in Arnold. The dress above has the corset as its foundation - works brilliantly!!

jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 25th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC) (link)
Oh, now that is a brilliant-beyond-brilliant idea. Especially as I love my stays and know they fit. *hugs* I love you Suzi I really do, you are always coming to my costuming rescue! :>
periwiggedperuk From: periwiggedperuk Date: March 26th, 2005 08:41 am (UTC) (link)
Hi, I found your website a while ago and just found out you have a livejournal. I'm at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and have taken on the insane task of costuming tons of people in semi-accurate 18th cent garb for a musical. I really don't know how I'm going to do all of it in 5 weeks when reading your journals and seeing that it takes you months.

I'm making one set of diderot stays for a character and I have all of the materials, but I'm a bit apprehensive about using the cable ties for the curved horizontal shaping bones. Did you have any trouble using something that's straight for a curved line? Or does the bone actually remain straight and just shape the stays?

Thanks for any help you can provide

Julia Gardiner
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 26th, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC) (link)
Good luck with all your costumes! :> Costumes can be done in a shorter period of time, especially if you are not focusing on accuracy, can cut a few corners and are using commercial patterns. It’s also helpful if you can get a couple of volunteers to help with the simple bits.

The horizontal boning on the Diderot stays isn’t very curved, especially the top one. It’s a slight curve and I used the cable ties there not problem. I think the horizontal boning is really there to emphasize the bust and ensure the stays aren’t too flat in front (with the seam there).

The only problem I had was trying to insert the ties into bone casing. After ripping my fingers apart to hand stitch the stuff on, the cable ties didn’t fit inside the casing. I ended up putting the ties in-between the casing and fabric, which worked okay, despite my large stitches. I’d recommend using twill tape or ribbon instead – much easier on the fingers! :>
From: periwiggedperuk Date: March 26th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks, yeah, I have a few helpers, just have to get them organized
11 comments | comment?