Currently still under construction, but I'd venture to say the bulk of the construction is done. (Trim is a whole different animal...)
|I know it's not very impressive over my under-petticoat, but you can't see any detail at all with the matching one!|
You see - I'm hosting an 18thc tea at the Indian King Tavern ("can my friends and I play dress up and have tea here?? Yes? COOL"), and naturally I wanted a new dress! Naturally. I particularly wanted a specifically white-backed chintz cotton print. Why? I dunno, I don't have one of those yet? There are some lovely reproduction prints out there, but they're all on the pricey end. So I scoured one of my favorite ebay stores, as I've bought lovely Indian block-printed fabric for Regency frocks before, and two most excellent shawls. And I came up with this fabric, which made me happy.
|But it did exist! And they're even a similar type of bird!|
Did the petticoat first:
|Do plan on a flounce, but need to be certain that I can get important things like sleeves cut out first...|
|All cut from linen scraps, hence the weird CF piecing|
Don't quote me, though. ;)
Because I've heard a lot about how scary polonaises are to make (which seems to be bourne out by the fact that hardly anyone seems to make them, relative to other styles)...but I think they're really not any more difficult than a sack gown or an en-fourreau English gown! With the caveat that you be fairly familiar with 18thc dress construction and be comfortable with a certain amount of draping. But really. If you've made a sack or an en fourreau gown, you can make a polonaise!
Anyway. So as you saw, I had a fitted lining out of linen - you can do that, or you can make a stomacher, or a separate back-closing sleeveless bodice, but I think over a simple fitted lining is the easiest - and I used three widths of 30" fabric. One went over each front, and the third I ripped in half, so as to have a CB seam. I did the backs first as they didn't require much actual draping, just "is there enough fabric in the back pleats? yes? excellent."
The fronts took a bit more fussing - I draped them on my dressform initially and pinned, then did another fitting on myself. One side was perfect, other needed a bit of messing around and repinning, but nothing too horrible.
The loose fronts feel a bit silly - they blow open when I walk, for one, but I think trim will help with that...at least to some extent! After it was hemmed, I took a few shots on Mabel, who doesn't fit in it as well, but it's easier to take close-ups on her! Not that you can see much detail anyway, with this busy print, but hey, I tried!
|You really can't see it, but there are two vertical(ish) tucks under the arm to fit the looseness of the fronts.|
|Yes, those two tucks release into uneven pleats! I'm uneven, is why.|