This is a project that I've been meaning to do for some time now. I had this fabulous duvet cover from Ikea with a print that struck me as very 18thC, but never got around to doing anything with it. Well, I finally did it!
I've very happy with how it turned out, though there are some things I would go back and change if I would. The cotton fabric is so thin that I should have interlined the bodice with something to give it a bit of body. But, all in all, it turned out really well.
I started by unpicking the fabric of the duvet and ironing it all out. I ended up with 4.75 yards of 85" wide fabric. After cutting out everything I needed for the dress, I have maybe enough left for a sleeve flounce if I really wanted it, so not much went to waste! I even managed to squeeze out the entire petticoat in the duvet fabric without putting a different fabric on the back half of the skirt, so if I want to polonaise the overskirt, I can definitely do so. :D
I originally started working off of one of Janet Arnold's patterns, but after a while I just started winging it and redoing things as I went along, so it didn't end up much like her pattern after all was said and done.
I decided to try and attach my sleeves the 18thC way, which was a new adventure for me. I was a little apprehensive about it since it was so different from modern sleeve setting, but OMG, WHY HAVE I NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE? It's so much easier than I expected, and the sleeves fit perfectly, no having to unpick and redo them because something goes awry (which is always does). I'm converted. If you want to try it for yourself, American Duchess has done an excellent step-by-step write up of how to do it.
Once it had passed inspection, I set to work trimming it. I took a lot of inspiration from the "church dress" from Marie Antoinette.
I had some fine white tulle on hand, which I added to the bodice around the neckline and down the center front. I then cut out long strips of narrow fashion fabric with pinking shears and gathered it into a ruffle, which I then ironed to take out some of the fluff.
Once the trim was on, it was just a matter of adding the hooks and eyes to the center front, and it was finished!
I had a lot of fun making this one out of materials I had entirely on hand. I haven't had a chance to wear this one yet, and I want to make a little hat to go along with it, or maybe a dormeuse cap, but I'm putting this one in the finished column! ^^