Regency Dupatta Open Robe, Part I: Muslin

As you recall, I’m making a sleeveless open robe to dress up my sheer Regency ballgown for an upcoming event. Here’s my inspiration:

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Since I  only have one dupatta to use to make the robe, I wanted to be extra-careful when patterning and cutting, which of course meant I had to make a muslin.

I started off by cutting out the center back bodice, making the pattern by cutting my regular back bodice piece on a fold instead of as two separate pieces (subtracting some width to account for the lack of a back closure), and then adapting pattern pieces for the front vest-like sections from the original bodice pattern. It took a lot of fiddling to get things to fit properly (my dress form doesn’t squish like I do when wearing the Regency stays, so I had to try the test pieces on every time), but I eventually got it right.

Once I had finalized the fit of the bodice pattern pieces, I cut up an old sheet to the dimensions of my dupatta, using a Sharpie to squiggle lines where there would be gold trim so I could get a feel for how to best utilize it. I drew out my skirt pieces first, knowing that they were the largest and therefore hardest to place, and then fit in the bodice pieces in the extra spaces.

open-robe-muslin-sbsopen-robe-muslin-diagram

It was definitely cutting things close (no pun intended), and the skirt isn’t nearly as full as I wanted it to be– basically there’s only a little pleating in the back and the rest just falls smoothly from the waist in trapezoidal panels– but I suppose I can’t be choosy when working with a single 45 x 90″ piece of fabric.

open-robe-muslin-bodice

 

 

 

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