18th century Spring Anglaise En Fourreau

Here in Sweden November’s been darker then usual and it seems we just broke the record for less hours of sun, counting only 2 hours of sun during the whole past month.
No wounder we all feel and look like living dead by now. (and Winter is coming…)

So today I decided it was time to get some costuming sun, by showing of my newest gown – inspired by fresh spring flowers…

Last year I bought this fabric from IKEA (hm, must be my, 5th dress, or something made by fabric/curtains/bed-sheets from that store).IMG_0739And a month ago I dug it out from my stash determent to make it into something 18th century.

Inspiration came straight away.
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I used an old pattern and made some minor alterations like moving the shoulder seam, and remade the sleeve.

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I tried the paper pattern on my dress-form to get a better look of how it would look.
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Then I made and tried on the mock-up.
After some minor alteration I was ready to cut the fabric.


Since I didn’t had any deadline for this project, I decided to make the whole dress by hand.IMG_0916

I basted the lining to the interlining and stitched the bodice together for a try on.
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After lowering the neckline a few cm, I put the bodice on my dress-form and started covering it with the fashion fabric.

The En Fourreau pleats was a bit tricky to get to lie smooth, but after once re-pinning I stitched everything down from the outside using back-stitches.
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Then I set the sleeves, gathered and stitched on the skirt, cut the length and hemmed it. And finished of with some pleated trim and hook and eye for closure.IMG_0912

The Finished dress:
















What: a 1780s robe Anglaise

Pattern: I drafted my own using a old self made pattern as a starting point..

Fabric: 1 white flowery printed cotton bed sheet from IKEA (approximately 3,5 x 1,5 m), 0,5 m regular white cotton for lining and 0,5 m heavy upholster fabric for interlining.

Notions: Thread, 11 pair of hook and eyes and 1,5 m of plastic boning.

Time: Since it is completely hand stitched the amount of time is much higher then my usual projects. I will take a educated guess at 25 hours counting low.

Cost: About 200 Sek (32 Usd). Everything from stash.

Final Thoughts: I’m not thrilled about it.
The back pleating looks a bit sad, and the en fourreau back is not one of my greatest accomplishments. I think I will have to re-make the entire back of the gown before wearing it for real.
I also think the front point should be longer and more pronounced, even if that’s something I can live with for now.
I do however like the shape and setting of the newly drafted sleeves. And the fabric of this gown just look so soft and beautiful.


4 thoughts on “18th century Spring Anglaise En Fourreau

  1. I’m always impressed by people who can look at something like curtains or bed linens or bits and pieces from thrift stores – and turn them into something amazing. I (and my pocketbook) wish I could do the same, instead of almost only ever falling in love with yardage! I like how you handled the pleated trim.

  2. I am so impressed! I hardly know anyone who sews, so it was fun to see how you did all that! I’m going to check out Ikea! Happy sewing!!

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