Bal a la Turque

So, last Friday it was finally time for the Bal a la Turque.
I left early from work to catch the train to the capital, went to our apartment, dressed and headed to the party.IMG_2434

The party itself was located at some beautiful old buildings complete with dining room an dance hall. The guests were all dressed to their teeth in 18th century Turkish fashion, and everyone looked wonderful.

All party pictures are courtesy of Jennifer Garnier, who graciously allowed me to post them here. Enjoy.Jenifer garnier 2

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And I just have to show you these masterpieces, one of the girls took at the end of the evening.
If you look fast you can actually kind of see the three of us posing… 

My Artistic Robe the Turque (sort of..)

With the Bal a la Turque just one week away I finally decided what to sew – Nothing!

I will not make a thing, I will however do some alterations on a previous costume and add some new accessories.

When looking at the inspirational pics I really liked the flowing, layer on layer type of look, but also the more stylished robe a la Turque. Then I  realized I had just the dress – made only three months ago.

My striped Zone front Anglaise.IMG_8760

A couple of quick sketches later I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and started on the alterations:

Beginning by shortening the sleeves.IMG_2369Cutting and hemming at a flattering new lenght.

Then I made a pattern for the extra under sleeves,IMG_2364 cut them in a white leftover linen I found in my stash.

Then I stitched them together and hemmed the wrists.IMG_2370

And basted them to the armhole.IMG_2380

Then it was time for the ruffle.
I drew a circle on a paper, IMG_2362And cut it out in double cotton voile from stash.IMG_2365IMG_2367

I gathered the edge and stitched it to a bias strip.IMG_2368

And finally I basted the ruffle to the neckline, and trimmed it down using pinking sheers.IMG_2384

The new Robe a la Turque:IMG_2388



IMG_2390I love how the makeover turned out.
I think both the ruffle and the new style of sleeves make it look really good, and helps enhance the pretty crispness of the white on the stripes.

But the dress alone don’t make a “Turque” – It’s all about the accessories…

I decided to change the original white petticoat, in favor for the recently shortened golden one to give the outfit more color.IMG_1495

I used the sash from my white 1900s Ariel dress and tied it around the skirt at hip level, securing it with safety pins. To mimic the mandtory white Turque sash.

And of course I also needed a belt, which I bought in a thrift shop not long ago.IMG_1561

And not to forget some shawls and jewelry.IMG_1571 IMG_1569

The finished outfit styled and ready:IMG_2405











IMG_2423Over all I think I came up with a pretty nice looking (sort of) Robe a la Turque, using only stash fabrics and old pieces.

Now its of to the bal…

Bal a la Turque – inspiration

A few months ago I’ve got an invitation to attend a 18th century event in the capital planed for this upcoming weekend.

The theme is “Bal a la Turque”, which refers to the 18th century flair for everything oriental. With the Roba  a la Turque as the most popular fashion statement at the time.

When I’d decided to go I started looking for inspiration online, and found lots of gorgeous dresses and outfits all with their own charm and relation to the Turkish theme.

The signature for the Robe a la Turque was the short sleeves on top of longer ones, the cut away front, the Anglaise cut back and the white sash on the hip. Read more about the garment on American Duchess list of 18th century robes169-0002-107

But of course there would be several different variations on “the Turque”.0fc04c6e4b8e2e093f5297f4a1ee4258




Then you have the more relaxed style with turbans, sashes and different kinds of material like fur or velvet.1a105274266a105cc292f1bfe478c520

1 GK 1740-50 George Knapton  (English artist, 1698-1778) Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Howard

Jean-Baptiste Le Prince (French Painter, 1734-1781) Lady in Turkish Dress

There was also the more lose and flowing chemise gowns, styled with the mandatory turban.3532e9cc49389551c03d2296d774388a


Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French artist, 1755-1842) Marquise de Aguessenau wearing a robe a la turque 1789

And the style using lots of layering and colors, fabrics and jewelry to get the point.0e87c9c5af3bffbc08f812c1f49d8a2f


4x5 originalLove this one – maybe next time.

Charles Wynne Nicholls (Irish artist, 1831-1903) Eastern Beauty 1862

And lastly we got the traditional harem pants, which more often then not seams to be attached to the bodice in some sort of fancy jumpsuit.5f5b4e3c564f68ef61591e296d3326c7


Antoine de Favray (French painter, 1706-1792) Annette Comtesse de Vergennes in Turkish Gown



So many ideas, so little time….