Monday, December 23, 2013

Antoinette Gown

Leaves of Lorian Original

 By Leaves of Lorian
Top Cover Photo and some finish Photos courtesy of DS Orchid Photography
I have always been in love with the huge hoops/panniers and gowns of the
French Baroque/ late Victorian era.
Recently, I was given some fabric by a dear friend of mine…(a Queen in fact)…
which just seemed to scream “GIANT BUSTEL!!”

What else could I do but answer the call??
(Any costumer will understand)

I’ve named it after Marie Antoinette, who happens to be a favorite person in history for me.
(Along with Robin Hood, Blackbeard and General Custer…)
(Yeah, I know, I have weird hobbies)

I’ve quite given up on patterns.
I find them handy to adapt, but as far as finding one that matches my ideas, forget it. I’ve started sketching and working from there.
Here’s the rough draft of my Antoinette gown.
What you see here is a two layer skirt with separate bodice and giant bustle, and a huge collar. The bows were to be a light pink, and the underskirt and front panel of the bodice to be a darker blue, self piped.
Obviously turned out a little different.

As mentioned, the entire dress was created around six yards of fabric
that eventually became a bustle and over skirt.
This is a eclectic blue (my FAVE color) cassa collection fabric. It has the swirls already sewn on it.
Which are very blurry in this picture, but at least you get the idea!!

The blue of the collar, front panel of the bodice, and under skirt is a color no longer sold.
(How weird is that?!) and it is of crepe backed satin. Love that stuff.

The lace for the collar, sleeves and ruffle on the bustle is cream, rather then white. It was 45 inch lace.

The bodice itself is made of heavy satin, almost the same shade of blue as the over skirt and gown.

The bows on the skirt are from a 3” cream ribbon.

I do still use pattern as a base to start from. Here are the ones I chose to start with for my Antoinette gown.
Simplicity 3637 is already an French baroque styled gown. I only used the bodice.
The collar came from another simplify pattern based off of Mirror Mirror costumes.

From the get go, this gown was a challenge.  I’d put it at 3 out of 5 stars. Nothing as bad as Huntress’s cape or my next scheme, but difficult none the less.

About 80% of the bodice is hand sewn. It is boned, front and back, and I wear my corset under it. It is fully lined and has two sets of interfacing. It has a square neck and closes in the front with twelve (12) large hook and eyes. Hand sewn. Yeah.
The sleeves are four pieces, and self lined.

Adjustments made: the back of the pattern was made for a cape that attached at the back of the shoulders and made up the back, then falls down the skirt. I changed that, obviously.

Side note: I’ve never done boning before and everyone said it was scary….but to be frank, I found it quite placid.

Consists of fourteen (14) yards of fabric. I love it.
About six (6) yards go around the hoop, and the rest is around the bottom as ruffles. It sits at my hips and is gathered on both sides.
I really wish that the pile of fabric in the chair had made it into the picture here…Oh well..

Is about six (6) yards of fabric. (A little less, I was running out)
It has a draw string waist, and is sewn together at the center and gathered on either side of the center.
Shown here with the bustle over it.
This was pre-bows and gathering.

Came from McCalls M6770...Nice pattern.
I was running out of fabric, so I opted for a smaller bustle then I had first hoped.

As you can see it’s three layers of very gathered fabric on a base. Love it.

Was a pain in the rear…but looks nice, and I love it. About 90% hand sewn.
Boned, lined, has interfacing, and attaches straight to the collar of the gown.
It does not come off.

And the random assorted pictures
that always accompany my creations...

I made them hats!!!

I also made a little hat to go with the dress. I don't have any good pictures of it's creations...basically it was a couple small ovals of fabric with a layer of padding in between and strip of lace sewn to it. I added feathers and a pin.

kinda pretty....ish....
So, here I am in my Victorian/Antoinette glory….Gotta find a place to wear it now!



  1. Such a pretty fabric! I adore you're creations :)

    And no, you don't know me :D I just ended up to your lovely blog!

    1. Why thank you so much!!! I always like to hear when someone likes one of my gowns. :)


    2. You're welcome!
      Main reason why I like your creations is that you are creative and talented sewer. I mean really talented. I'd like to be as good as you, but sadly I don't have much experience yet :)

    3. Just keep practicing! And start small - don't jump in over your head like I did, lol! :)


    4. Haha, I'll try :D Luckily I have a bit experience behind since I'm practicing sewing in school so I know basics. But apart from that... Almost nothing :P

      And sorry if my English sucks, I'm not native speaker so I might make some (huge) mistakes.

    5. Hey no problem! I can definitely understand you. :)

      Good luck with your sewing! Everything starts with basics....and goes back to basics! Once you get those down, you can do anything! :D Trust me, that's how I started!


    6. Thanks and good to know!
      So no "magic tricks" needed :)

    7. all honestly, a magic sewing machine that never tangled treads would be nice! ;)

    8. Haha, indeed :DD Or at least a sewing machine which could understand when you're loosing your nerves and then decides not to make something stupid for your work.

    9. Ha! Yes! Please let me know when you find this mystical sewing machine!! I need it! :D

    10. Haha :D Naturally, I'll tell you immediately!