Regency Dupatta Open Robe, Part II: Construction

As you recall, last time I made a muslin to pattern out my Regency open robe to fit onto a 45×90″ silk dupatta. I ended up with paper pattern pieces for the bodice, but I didn’t want to bother making them for the skirt so I just ripped apart the muslin and laid out the skirt pieces on my dupatta, cutting around them. It was kind of a hassle trying to keep the pattern of tiny scattered flowers symmetric on the bodice– I hadn’t thought about that when figuring out where I’d place the pattern pieces originally, but luckily I had enough spare fabric to move things around.

I lined the bodice in burgundy cotton just to ensure a finished edge. However, since I didn’t care much about what the inside looked like I didn’t bother cutting separate curved side back pieces like I did on the outside– one big piece for the bodice back was fine. In order to keep the gold trim on the neckline edges looking nice, I used a 1/4″ seam allowance on them, but the remaining seams were done with my standard 5/8″.

open-robe-bodice-in-progress

 

 

Once the bodice was completed it looked a bit shorter than I’d planned– I think I may have inadvertently cut the front pieces about 5/8″ shorter than the pattern. I hemmed and hawed, and finally decided to add a waistband to the bottom, using the same inside/outside layer technique as I used on the dress. I thought it would work because there was already a waistband on the dress, plus it would provide a convenient spot for the strap across the center front.

I pinned and basted my skirt (which was just a bunch of trapezoids sewn together) to the lower edge of the outer layer only, adding pleats in the back to make the lengths match. And then I realized that while I’d added a good inch of total length to the robe via the waistband, I’d neglected to subtract that extra length from the skirt. I couldn’t hem it from the bottom because it would ruin the trim at the bottom. So I had to unpick the waist seam (such a pain, especially on silk) and start again.

Anyway, after getting the waist seam right I whipstitched the inner waistband down over the raw seams. Then I just took a strip of the extra gold trim, backed it with a strip of the cotton lining, and created the front waist strap– it’s tacked down by hand on one side and there are hooks and eyes on the other.

open-robe-bodice

The whole thing turned out really well, all things considered. Here are some detail shots:

open-robe-bodice-back

regency-open-robe-back

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