Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1770's Woman's Bedgown

The pattern for this piece is by Kannik's Korner and comes with a wealth of historical documentation. One note states that a bedgown is a "kind of short clothing which the women wear to the bed, and which they keep in the morning in the fashion of 'deshabillé' [undress]." (Originally from "Supplément a L'Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers" by Denis Diderot et al, 1777.)I used a 100% cotton that is a woven navy blue and tan plaid. Here is the front; I used braided pieces of wool yard to make the ties at the front. The one is unlined, unlike the original pattern. It's too hot to be wearing multiple layers of lined garments outdoors all day. I will be making a second one that is lined to wear when it gets colder.
The back view showing the long pleat down the back. (Sorry for the picture quality. This was the best I could get.)Here is the pleating on the sleeves.I tried one of the suggested variations which was to create "pocket slits" in the side pleats to allow access to one's pockets through the bedgown. I have to say I'm glad I did. I recommend this pattern to anyone who wants a bedgown. The instructions were clear and well written, and also full of interesting history. I will say that I was unprepared for the shear size of the main pattern piece. Once I stared at it for a bit I was able to figure out how to work with it. A much larger table to cut and pin on would have been useful.

If you look closely there are no shoulder seams on this piece. It was sewn from two pieces (left side and right side) and then the sleeve extensions and arm gussets were added. This means the main body pattern had to be cut twice, once per side.

There are instructions for using 58"-60" wide fabric and cuting once on the fold. I'm going to try that if I can find something I like in that width.

Oh yeah, I have to say that this is quite comfortable to wear. I prefer it to my friend's red one that I wore to other events only because her red one is made from a heavy cotton and lined with flannel.Nobody took pictures Saturday, so I have to wait for things to calm down enough around here to have FH take some of it being worn. That may not happen until after we get back from St.Louis.


Tallulah~Belle said...

Looks fab...although you might as well be speaking another language with all this sewing talk :-)

Caseymini said...

I love the pleats on the sleeves! Very nice.Now are you going to make the pocket that you tie around your waist to wear under it? Those always seemed to me that they would be uncomfortable. I'm sure glad that someone finally figured out that the pockets could be in the clothes and not under them.LOL

Great job Kat! Keep sewing!

MiniKat said...

Actually, Casey, pockets aren't that uncomfortable. Mainly because they aren't tied around the waist. They are tied around the ties of your petticoats.

And since the clothes are already layered, the pocket is in between those layers, thus preventing you from having them bang again you when you walk.

Sans said...

Kat, the gown looks awfully short. So what do these conservative people wear underneath them? Is anyone wearing these at the camp?

Leigh said...

I love it! I'd wear it as a jacket or for a layered look. I will keep this pattern in mind.

MiniKat said...

San if you look in the last photo I'm wearing a red bedgown with petticoats, shift, and apron. The bedgowns were designed to be worn over other garments.

Once I actually sew a shift of my own I'll have FH take pictures of the layering process so you can see how everything was worn. :-)

Sharon said...

Man, I really want to see that worn. It looks so totally cool but needs that note of authentication.

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh my, you are incredibly multi-talented! Your sewing and crocheting are wonderful, and your pets are all adorable.

Thank you for the sweet message you left for me earlier this summer. I appreciated your prayers and kindness. They brought me comfort and strength.