First off, let's just take a moment to admire this lovely sight... sigh. I love fabric. OK, moving on.
I'm now onto making all the other accoutrements that go with a typical 18th century gown and the paniers are one item I've been avoiding for quite some time. It's a look that is distinct for that time period and while I personally feel I have enough natural shape to suffice I started to think that I should go ahead and go all in.
They were actually quite easy to make once I just jumped in and started going. I
I had a great time parading around the house in them and only wish I had had them finished before my five year-old had gone to bed. She would have had a really good laugh just as my dearest husband did, I am amazed at the silliness of them, and yet how well they stayed put while I walked around and allowed me enough liberty of movement. I think for fun, one day I will make a pair that gives me an 8-foot span... or something equally ridiculous.
The red silk was a great choice! I finally overcame my squeamishness of cutting into so much fabric and gathered and hemmed the petticoat today. I have become, over the last few days, pretty impatient to get these things done so I will confess to machine-hemming the 5 yards of fabric. Oh, dear.
I love the vibrant color of it next to my third iteration of stays. Of course, I stupidly used a second pattern for these and now the fit has to be reworked... again. I didn't even photograph my second pair as I rushed through them and they looked wretched. I was more than happy to rip those apart and reclaim the boning materials inside. This third pair, as with the JP Ryan ones I first did, are again too short. I seem to have a freakishly long torso as even my dressform won't extend the length of it. I have worn them at work, though, and they will be tolerable for the evening of British Night Watch.
On a happier note, I LOVE how the fabric drapes over the paniers! I didn't make any seams for pockets inside the dress. I might regret this decision later but I'll have DH there to be the packhorse of my usual female detritus.
I have left enough length on the robe if I choose to pull up the skirt as usually seen in the polonaise style, but I'm also a fan of trains so I might do as my friend suggested and take a cheaper fabric and line the bottom 3 inches or so with a sort of dust ruffle on the inside hem.
Until next time...