costumes · sarah vs. the 18th century

Hey, look! It’s an update!

Forget corset training. Know what effectively takes 2″ off your waist in under a week? A crippling bout of norovirus, that’s what. Not that I’d recommend it as a method for slimming down… But it sure as hell is effective!

So yes, I’ve been laid up since Sunday night fighting this damn virus and so that’s why things have gone so quiet around here. Right before I got sick (like, two hours before), I started a new 18th century gown based on this fashion plate:

black_white_stripe_late_18thcI got as far as the bodice assembly before being struck down by the plague, and then, during the infrequent lapses in symptoms where I felt well enough to fiddle with it, tried to get the skirt attached to the bodice. I have said it only 3429080123 times but hell, I’ll say it again: I HATE KNIFE PLEATED SKIRTS. I have ripped this damn thing out no less than four times and I’m going to have to rip it out again because the stripes pleats aren’t even. And with a stripe, you know you better have even pleats or else EVERYONE WILL JUDGE.

So, for now, the gown has gone to the Naughty Corner and I’m casting about for ideas for an 18th century dinner this weekend where I am portraying Rose Bertin, when none of my current 18th c. dresses are exciting me. To be Mlle. Bertin, one OBVIOUSLY has to be on the cutting edge of daring fashion. And none of my 18th c. frocks are really cutting it.

That is, until Kendra’s recent post on 18th c. skirt supports reminded me that this fashion plate exists:

French, 1784. Designed by Pierre-Thomas LeClerc. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Hm. Looks kinda familiar…

Photo by Debora Borlase. Ignore the horribly plastic wig. I really shouldn’t be allowed to style my own hair.

All that would need tweaking is perhaps a modification to the bodice front and to shorten the sleeves. I have a gold silk taffeta petticoat (which is being worn under the gown in the photo above, actually) and so it would be really just a matter of trimming it. And the sort of trimming in the fashion plate is actually pretty darn easy to do with a fast turn around. I could make this work by Saturday!

If only I could stop feeling so crappy… 😛


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