Saturday, January 5, 2013

Queen of Hearts: Red Striped Silk Robe à l'Anglaise

I acquired this gorgeous red striped silk at Astoria Bargain Fabrics in Astoria, NY over a year ago.  SG made a beautiful 18th century Robe a la Turque with it.  I have been dreaming of a stripey Anglaise ever since.

News came of the Twelfth Night Ball in Sudbury, MA this year, and I got to thinking.  My green silk taffeta gown had a cat-related accident, and the rest of my 18th century wardrobe is either too small, too day-wear, or too somber.  Obviously, I had to make something new.  Good thing I had 10 yards of this cherry red striped silk in my stash.

I pulled out the same muslin pattern I used for the navy blue Anglaise (which is now finished and trimmed.  More on that later.)  I made a few adjustments, and had it cut out rather quickly.  However.

My first attempt at matching stripes did not go so well.  Just slightly off.  I knew it would drive me insane, so I re-cut the front pieces, and the back pieces.

The stripes match up, and the chevron pattern they form with the back pieces adds a certain level of visual interest.  My aim is to have this done for January 11, but I do not intend to hurt myself (or others) trying to make that happen.

I started calling it the "Queen of Hearts" gown because the red stripe reminded me of the visual on playing cards.  I thought that for a fancy dress type occasion, it would be really easy to decorate this with black silk ribbon trim, and black velvet heart details.  Maybe some 18th century playing cards in my hair.

I realize the Alice illustration is a parody of Queen Victoria, but it serves as inspiration.

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