So the terminology is sketchy about what to actually call this thing but I arbitrarily like the term shortgown so I’ll be using that here. I wore this to Fort Erie and it was very comfortable. I used the "half-robe" on page 83-84 of Costume in Detail but changed a few things.
- I shortened the sleeves and set them in with pleats
- I narrowed the skirt to just a few pleats in the back
- I eliminated the decorative buttons
- I used pins instead of hooks and eyes
Here are some in progress shots showing the front and back:
And here you can see the details of the under bodice pinned and un pinned:
These are detail shots of the side back seams. The initial seam was backstitched and the seam allowances folded over and sewn down with a running stitch.
And finally the shortgown on me! I’ve worn is here over stays and a chemise. Like the original the petticoat hooks into the "waist" seam with hooks and eyes. I had real issues with it coming unhooked but I think if I added straps it would be so much of a problem. This petticoat is more of a placeholder anyway. I want to replace it with a plain navy-blue linen one. This one is a linen blend and it cut to full and is to heavy really. I think the ensemble would be much improved with a lighter weight petticoat.
The shortgown is a quilting cotton from I forget where and the lining is leftover linen. I made the drawstrings for the neckline on a newly purchased lucet with cotton crochet cord. I played around a lot with the spacing of the fabric over the bust. The original has a series of small pleats of the waist next to the front opening and I originally had them further to the sides. In the end though it was more flattering to have them in the middle. It does overlap a few centimeters at the waist which was more or less intentional. The original was fairly precisely tailored however I took a loose hand with the fit on this one… because I felt like it. Besides it can now fit a wider variety of sizes without sacrificing a proper fit!
I found the style had to grow on me a bit. At first I didn’t like it but now I do and I especially think I will like it better once I replace the petticoat. I’m waffling on whether to order some linen and do it before I leave for Scotland. I’d like to bring this outfit especially since I want to have it on hand if I want to do any reenacting over there but I want to replace/explore/try new versions of so many pieces. I want to make a new cap, stays and now petticoat. I have fabric coming for the first two… perhaps I should throw in the third!
UUUHHGG. Life was difficult today. I dealt with a very frustrating and expensive bureaucracy today while filing my visa application and in the end I missed a whole day of work which I was not counting on. I also spent most of the day in a high dungeon of anger/frustration/sadness which is very unlike me and really got me down. I’m feeling so unsatisfied lately since I have this whole big THING waiting for me but I have to WAIT for it and I don’t wanna! It sounds like I’m just whining and maybe I am but I can’t seem to lift my own attitude out of this oppressive dissatisfaction and it’s making it really hard to savour these last few precious weeks before two years away. *siiiiiigh*