I started cutting into the gown fabric today after making the pattern pieces and a mock up of muslin. I will document here how to construct a dress. I couldn’t work on it too intensely today, so everything is all basic.
Here is a shot of the front panel pinned to the dummy. Understand, this is the base skirt. It will be adnored with puffs, pleats, scallops, and an apron that is also adorned. I’ll get to the apron later.
There will be an attached back train of modest size. It is made up of three panels of the silk, sewn together. I gathered the train into a piece of sturdy cotton tape. Right now, it’s just pinned to the tape. The train is not yet sewn to the front panels for reasons that will become clear later. Basically, it’s being held on the dummy by friction.
Keep in mind, that the three train panels are something like 7 feet across, all of which needed to be gathered into the 19″ piece of cotton tape. There is a lot of stuff going on there, and things are not as simple as they appear.
A rather wide apron will be attached going across the three front panels and sewn into the seams above the train. The cotton tape that holds the train will be held to the waistband with rigging, and two purple panels that cover the rigging.
To the right is the 1874 Godey fashion print that is the closest thing to what I have in mind for the back of the polonaise. Of course, it’s brown and not plaid.
The proposed underskirt will be much more elaborate than the one shown on the brown Polonaise in the 1874 print. Also, the front of the Polonaise will be shorter, which will allow for a lovely apron. But I really liked the long train effect on the brown polonaise.
I am already in love with my grape-popsicle colored silk. It’s so soft, so sturdy, an so easy to work with. It rustles and drapes like a dream, and the color is just so Victorian.