Red anglaise, the second

So the last time I posted about this project I had pinned the en fourreau back. Things got slightly more interesting afterwards….

The next step was sewing the back down down. I went for top stitching. I didn’t want to hide my pleating… I wanted to display it.


The next step was doing something with the skirt but I honestly don’t remember what I photographed here:


The pocket slits… which in retrospect are gonna be super-useless if it is worn as a “polonaise” (I know “retroussee”)… anyway turned in once, bound in self-fabric, turned in once again by pleating.


Then I pleated the rest of the skirt. To be fairly honest, pleating and pinning things in place is my favorite part of sewing. (Fitting is the worst. The absolute worst.) It transforms a piece of fabric into a recognizable garment. (And just writing that makes me wish I had some stash fabric for more Vionnet dresses.)


Then there were several exciting things that I didn’t document at all – hemming, making the sleeves, but I did take a picture of my unfinished zone front front piece.


Attaching the front to the skirt:


The finished front:


My neck ruffles pinned.


I used scallop scissors for that after experimenting with my pinking iron long enough to produce this scallop:


Sorry for the blurry pic.

After this fantastic scallop I quit the iron. I was just so unimpressed.

After finishing the neckline time the dress was pretty much finished but the sleeves looked bare so I had to the something. Zone fronts usually come with long sleeves but I crossed that rubicon already and merely pleated trim looked lame, so I went somewhat old-fashioned and did pagoda sleeves because they counter-balanced the neckline trim better:

I used the pattern from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion, page 35, scaled up and duct taped.


I marked the sleeves on the fabric. (Fun fact, I originally tried only the first flounce, then the second and finally realized that the third was a necessity.)


I didn’t pink it with my pinking iron.


And I sealed it with fray check. I don’t care that this is not period correct. This fabric frays like mad.


Put the three flounces on top of each other – and from this moment on you should do the second set practically concurrently (mirrored of course) because otherwise you’ll probably end up with two very differently sets of pagodas.IMAG1531

I pleated the top edge over, so the flounces are connected and the fraying is minimized.


Then I pleated the flounces:

IMAG1535 IMAG1536

Pinned them to my sleeves:


And spaced-back-stitched them down. I tend to back-stitch everything but maybe a good running stitch would have worked as well.


Then I put some trim over the edged and sewed this down:


I took only this blurry close-up of the finished work.


Now there is the finished piece, photographed with usual attention to quality photography.

Just for the record, the dress is for someone else – someone very close to my own size but with a larger waistline and wider shoulders. The petticoat is also not the actual petticoat that is supposed to go with this. And I am a mess, so no pics of my face or hair.


The back – straight down.


Retroussed, using only the upper loops.


Retroussed, using upper and lower loops. (The lower loops are very close to the hem.)


Front view. Un-Ironed neckline trim (I did fix that.)

I hope I’ll get to post better pics soon.

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