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Thursday, April 17, 2014

18th Century Bedgown - Measure once cut out twice...

Well those familar with the instructions for the 'Manteau de Lit' the bed gown a sort of informal wrapover jacket. Rather like a modern dressing gown.

I made mine using instructions on http://www.marquise.de/en/1700/howto/frauen/18mdelit.shtml

First off it took me a lot of puzzling to work out the measurements I need....partially caused by hopping between metric and imperial measurements. I know my size in inches but I measure fabric in cms. I know bit odd. The other thing was working out how loose I wanted it. I did a 'mock up' in some polycotton...which was fortunate as I messed it up first time round.
I only had 2 metres of fabric to work with and I'd chosen a blue and white stripe...so no chance of fudging it.
I folded the fabric over and made sure the top of the sleeve was where the fold was...I chalked a line down the middle of that folded peice. Used that as my centreline. Measuring and chalking out the lines. Then folded it again at the centreline and pinned it to keep it from shifting while I cut it. Then unfolded remembering not to discard the leftover peices. I cute down the centrefront of the peice that would be the front to allow it to be put on. I pinned the arms and tacked the 'sides' in place.

I then cut the square gussets from the offcuts. Which were inserted the same way as you do with a chemise/shift. Before I sewd the sides. Then I pressed the side box pleats and sewed them in place.
I then used more offcuts - two long strips sewn together and attached it along the neckline edge.
DISCLAIMER - This was me making it up as I didn't understand the instructions.
 I then put the gown on the dress form to check the fit. I pinched out the box pleat at the back.
In the above image it was tacked all the way down. But I'll release the bottom skirt length at the back of the pleat once its pressed.
 Hmmm...I think it may be a bit too long. And its a bit..wonkey. I think that's due to my fudge with the collar. Any suggestions?

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