Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Colonial Williamsburg Dress Up Weekend

This past September, a friend of mine wanted to celebrate her birthday by coming to Williamsburg and visiting the historic area for a couple days. Seeing as I'm local, I of course said I'd come along! I knew it was going to be hot, so I made my first Chemise a la Reine/Robe en Chemise. I was aiming for 1781-1782, right when the chemise gown first shows up on record (in art or written). I took some inspiration from the famous Marie Antoinette portrait as well.

I used the Laughing Moon pattern with some alterations. I made the bodice longer by about two inches so it would hit closer to my natural waist. My sleeves have more gathering rows than the pattern. The fabric is a cotton voile from Farmhouse Fabrics.


I also trimmed a large felt hat blank with silk ribbon and ostrich feathers. I made a silk sash with leftover fabric from a ball gown that has fleur de lis embroidered on it, plus a gold fleur de lis necklace. I really wanted to play up the French factor!


I am wearing a wig with the dress. It's a wig I bought for 1790s that has large curls all over. My friend restyled it for me into the shape you see here. It has some fake rats giving it boost, a couple buckles on each side, and some curls hanging down the back.



The green and pink outfit I made in 2017. It's a silk/linen fabric with silk ribbons. I made a new silk/cotton neckerchief and matching sleeve ruffles.

 My cap is from Flying heart millinery, and I added a black silk ribbon for more punch. The hat is a straw bergere that I retrimmed with matching silk ribbon.

 I got this lovely walking stick with enamel for a fun prop and tied some silk ribbon around the top.


We had a really fun weekend, full of laughter and food and shopping. The chemise gown was about as comfortable as I could get heatwise without resorting to a bedgown.

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