Monday, 19 September 2011
How to make a robe de cour in six weeks and hopefully not go crazy, part 4
As I have a deadline and work full time, so my sewing time is limited, I’m using both machine sewing and hand sewing. The machine for such things as boning channels and inner seams, hand sewing for everything else.
Hour 2-4 Sewing the boning channels. Easy work, but quite tedious.
Hour 5 Sewing the front pieces together as well as the back pieces. Not the side seams, as some of the boning channels opened up into it and needed to be bones before sewing them together. I also mulled over what it really meant to glue paper on the inner layer. Operafantomet kindly pointed me towards these extant 16th century clothes , where some have had their bodice stiffened with the help of cardboard and wool felt, where the cardboard wasn’t made of cellulose but linen fiber and animal glue. I have no idea what kind of paper that has been used in the extant 18th century stays I know of, but it seems quite likely that it was textile based paper. Given my time frame I don’t really have the room to experiment, so I decided to make a modern translation and used double sided interfacing to fuse a more lightweight white linen fabric to the inner layer. It made it stiffer and smoother and the boning channels are less pronounced, so I think it’s a pretty good solution, albeit not a period-correct one.
Hour 6-9 Making 18 lacing holes. Much easier to do before the whole thing is completely sewn together. I don’t use grommet both because they weren’t used in the 18th century, but also because I find them frustrating to put in and very often pops out again. I make my lacing holes quite small and use a waxed linen thread. I’m pleased to say that they finally stat to look more even.
Hour 10-12 Boning the bodice and sewing the last seams. I use plastic boning from Cheaptrims that I buy by the spool. It’s quite flexible, but in fully bones stays they give good support and I promise, I need my support. I cut it with a pair of household scissors and just round the edges. So far I have never had any bone poke through.
Hour 13 Test the fit; fit the shoulder straps and cutting the shoulder straps. Over all they fit as they should, though I needed to scoop out the top of the front a bit toward the sides. I don’t have a pattern for the shoulder straps, so I pinned a piece of linen and played with that until I was satisfied. I also need to shape the tabs.
Now I need to bone the shoulder straps and put them into place and then I can start with cutting the silk velvet. Scary thought as it is…
Remember that I said I couldn't find a picture os Sofia Magdalena's coronation robe? Well, I did find one, here it is: