Whittacker Auction of FIT


Of special interest is the Robe a la Francaise:

These thumbnails are from the server and all link to the auction:


These interior views are so important, this method of construction is pretty standard for the time but you can see how fit was achieved very differently from now! This is an example of how a garment can be made up by a number of individuals working separately and then bring completed parts together for a final fitting.

There are interior views of men’s doublets of the 16th and 17thC that show their methods of assembling and then fitting a garment from standard patterns as well!

There are a few books that delve into this history of clothing construction, and over the years I have been creating a mental library of everything that matched what those books share or added to. I love knowing the hows- it helps explain the overall look of an era and how modern construction can run very counter.

Side note, my Reinette is pretty similar to this, but I used a firm canvas. My shell fabric though was a flimsy georgette so I had to back it, I used a satin faced fabric and had to overlock all the internal seams as they frayed.


Just put in some appropriate tags for the francaise and the worth gowns. So I can keep track of all the ideas I have had for them both over the last few years 😉 I know I have more posts I just can’t find them all as I probably used dates for the 18thC gowns rather than terms.

MODEHISTORIQUE fairly recently posted a link to a sheer Francaise sold on Christies (visit her journal and check out the awesomesauce before looking for the link). The description of it mentions muslin and I was really thrilled to see it especially as I had wanted to make a muslin francaise a while back thanks to the one in the V&A. Sadly the only photo they have online is a closeup of the net trim. Historic Fashion in Detail has a line drawing (where the gathers of the panniers are apparently on drawstrings) and a large image of the trimming on the skirt. I really want to find a photo of the full gown.
What is interesting is the Christies one looks to be intended for formal wear while the V&A one is much simpler and possibly less formal. I am certain I found some examples of texts from the 80s that were also cotton or sheer cotton. I can’t find them in my journal though! I do have my lovely sheer voile that was going to be another 1870s ruffly dress but I think I think I’ll look for an organdy substitute for that instead so I can use a heavy bobbin lace for insertions in it.

Oh and I also salvaged some cotton lace, proper fine machine made lace not heavy bobbin 🙂 Will swap it for some of my poly and nylon stuff as it was for the Trash to fashion kids. Seriously they can cut the cheap stuff up not the vintage!

My current test dress (the blue striped francaise) will hopefully have comperes made from the same fabric and then the petticoat and trimming will need to be hunted for in my stash. I am sure I have some.

Still dreaming of the KCI dress with the honeycomb smocked trimmings.. in sky blue taffeta. Sigh. (click the francaise tag to see how much too long I have waited to buy the fabric 😉 it no longer exsists.)

test fitting

Hooray! Photos with flash, good for colour not so good for looking pretty 😉 Good also for showing seams and textures 🙂


Sunburst Gown:
Skirt front, side and back. Train pinned over as well.

I got 6 or so yards from eldawen and I still have about 1.2m of a half width left to make the bodice from 🙂 So yes, it was plenty, and I got my full train out of that as well.
Yeah, the train is about 1.5m so the gored from and sides were cut from about 3m.. I think I did some creative topping and tailing of the pieces!

Basic shaped cut and pinned together. 3.25m of fabric at 1.62 wide. I cut along the selvages to get the vertical stripes. I think this might have been curtain fabric that was ripped in half, wish I knew where the other half was so I could make matching pleated frolls. Still I can hunt out some that will blend in.
This was salvaged fabric that was on the way to the tip!

Han-fu 1:
Silk crepe georgette saree cut in rectangles.

This looks very plain right now, but wait 😉

Han-fu 2:
Pretty much an irridescent fabric as it has two weft “colours” (gold for one pattern the ombre diamond in many colours for the other) and one warp.

Due to the extravagent nature of the fabric there is very little that needs to be done with it 😀

francaise and worth


I have my stupid mad Worth gown I am desperate to make, and I’ll start work on it after Coronation (fittings and such) but now I’m being distracted.

There is the prettiest shot taffeta in the local store right now. It reads as pale blue and is an aqua shot with white (the weft is white and of a slightly heavier thread.)

I just had inspiration hit for what it would be.

And I have no idea if or when it would happen. It’s an 18thC dress in Fashion. I’m not sure if anyone could guess what it is. The original is not blue;) In my printing the colour doesn’t match the description either. I prefer the colour in my printing.

If I was to say insane amount of hand sewing, it may not help either;) Though it is more than if I wanted regular self trimming. I couldn’t use my fly fringe on it though, and I have wanted a fly fringe covered dress since I bought Historical Fashion in Detail.
Oh heck. I may as well see how much fabric it uses. The fabric is 137cm wide and $NZ 12.99/m Not silk, but an absolutely well made poly. Visually because, of the white, it reads as at least partly silk. It’s only the sound that reads as man made. Well when you exaggerate the rustling.

I’ll have to think on this, and see what Global has in stock as I’m sure their midwinter sale will hit around the time of Coronation.