Blue Linen Gown - Finished?

Yesterday I had the gown mostly done - skirts sewn on and hemmed, but sleeve edges still raw and the lining not really trimmed or anything.  I tried it on over my petticoat and stays:

(Picture taken using the "smile detection" function on my camera - it can tell when you're smiling and take the picture automatically, we're living in the future.)

I was not happy yet.  The fit in the front wasn't so bad, although the back was awkward, but the pins in the lining were not working.  I optimistically hoped it might fix itself once things were a bit more finished ... or something like that. 

Later on, I added the stomacher to the ensemble.  This picture's a bit blurry, but you can see that the stomacher doesn't exactly fill in the space.  I admit, I was worried.  Pinning the lining is tricky (for me, anyway), and it tends to slip out of place afterward.

Today, I decided the best way to deal with pinning the lining was to not pin it - I folded the lining bits in half and sewed eyelets on it so I could lace it closed.  This made a huge difference in how it looked with the stomacher, and it also made it snug into my lower back as well.  (The white you see at the end of my sleeves is my 1790s shift - everything was sewn by this point.  I need a more accurate shift in line with Sharon Ann Burnston's latest article.)  I'm wearing my underpetticoat here, which gives me more skirt fullness, and my stomacher is actually pinned to my shift in the center of the neckline, which is probably not period, but it holds it up just a little.  The robings here are pinned down at the top and bottom of the stomacher.  (Not really happy with the kerchief - it looks all right in this picture, but it was really awkward until I got it to that point.)

The back is still problemy.  Some of this is my body, because my right hip is ... noticeably higher than my left, but most of it is the sleeves.  The armscye needs to be significantly further into the back piece than it is.  Fortunately, this is a fairly easy fix, although not one I really feel like doing right now as I've done so much work on this lately.  There is a re-enactment at the Saratoga Battlefield this weekend that I will be visiting on Sunday, and the gown will get an airing looking just like this.


  1. I think it looks fantastic! I have never yet attempted an en fourreau back...maybe someday soon. You look great in it, and it's such a pretty color!

    1. Thank you! The linen is True Blue from - I took a risk and bought it without getting a swatch first, but I think it came out all right. The pleats were actually pretty simple, you might be surprised. At least, the less fabric I cut, the more confident I am.


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