Shortgown? Morning dress? Half-robe? Whatever…

The Sewing:

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!

The Sundry:

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*

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One thought on “Shortgown? Morning dress? Half-robe? Whatever…

  1. Aw, don’t lose hope! Quite honestly, any time you deal with this type of bureaucratic bs it has the potential to be soul-sucking. But the truth is, you’ll get your visa, and you’re going to Scotland. Scotland! Ultimately it doesn’t matter how long it takes for the visa to process. You’re going, and that’s really awesome.

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