Friday, 7 October 2011

The Military Carriage Dress

I would really like to thank everyone for their kind comments!

Here are some details of my carriage dress. The fabric was bought from Busby Fabrics and is a silk taffeta in red, shot with purple.

The outfit is made in two pieces consisting of a skirt held up with braces and a jacket which can be worn on its own as a spencer.

Here is my inspiration.

I wanted to make an outfit which was military but not copying a uniform exactly. As in the period, the 'military' decoration is an interpretation. Details such as braiding are feminised.

Here is how I made the braiding. It is the exact same fabric as the outfit. I sewed a length of the silk cut on the bias, folded in half to form a tube.  I used a rouleau turner to turn the taffeta to the right side then threaded through narrow piping cord. I made up the decoration into the design then stitched it to the garment.

Here are some details of the finished garment. At the back you can see a peplum. This seems to be a common feature on carriage dress. The sleeves are cut in one piece with the fabric extended at the top to allow for gathering.

The collar has strips of boning in the centre back and sides to support the height. There is also an interlining of linen to give it extra support and  I  ran a piece of wire all around the edge to keep the shape.

Some carriage outfits have a bodice in a different fabric attached to the skirt rather than braces.

One really important feature is the cord added to the hem of the spencer, which can be pulled up. It really helps to stop the jacket/spencer from riding up.

Finally this is a great addition to my wardrobe as it can be two outfits in one!


Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

I always have problems using a rouleau turner to turn a slim fabric tube to the right side. Do you have any tips that might help me? How wide is the strip of fabric that you sew together and do you trim the edge before turning it through?

Fichu1800 said...

Dear Aylwen,

I cut a strip which was 2cms wide. Folded it in half and sewed a channel which was 5mm from the edge. It was not as narrow as I wanted but it was the smallest width which would allow a piece of cord to be threaded through.
I did trim the seam allowance down to around 3mm to reduce the bulk inside the tube.

ZipZip said...

Thank you so much for the clear description of the garment! I can visualize the construction quite well now.

Very best,

Sandi said...

The spencer with the white dress, in the last photo, looks stunning. You are so clever, Natalie!

I have never tried making rouleaux, but when I do, I know where to come for advice.

Time Traveling in Costume said...

I've been admiring the photos of this on Facebook, and wanted to see ALL the details. Its gorgeous! I'm saving the link to this because someday I want to try something like it. Great inspirational gown, Natalie!

Kleidung um 1800 said...

I always love your attention to detail and truth to the original/extant garments - this is what makes your pieces look perfectly period!
The choice of colour is beautiful and the idea of decoration made from self fabric is wonderful, as matching (silk)braids are hard to find!
Thank you very much for sharing and inspiring!

Theodosia Rowan said...

Thank you, Natalie for sharing all the in's/outs of this elegant ensemble. To me, it's the little details that make your work so very special.