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:


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.


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.






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