Thursday, June 13, 2013

Accesories for the Robe Battante

As stated in a previous post there are a few accessories I wanted to add to my Robe to really complete the outfit. The first is a set of under sleeve flounces. I wanted these to be really dramatic to match the Robes' scalloped sleeve flounce. I was using this original painting as my guide:
Using the same material as my fichu and apron. I cut out three different widths, all slightly longer in the back then in the front 

and finished the bottom edge with a small rolled hem (machine done, as time is of the essence). Next I sewed the 3 layers together and ran a gather stitch around the top and gathered it into a narrow band just a little bigger then my arm. Then to help keep them up on my arm I ran a thin elastic through the band and set them to my arm size. 

The elastic is not period, a drawcord to tie them on would be more period, and almost just as easy, but I was working in a rush and this didn't cross my mind until after I had closed the elastic into the band. It would be an easy enough fix in the future (when i am not scrambling for time) to open up the band and replace the elastic with a cord.
Next came a head covering. Caps are the go to for the18th Century but the mob cap I made earlier in the year is not the right style for this earlier period. Instead it appears they preferred a small round cap the was pinned to the top/ back of the head with optional lace lappets, or tails. These paintings came from my archives:
and this site has nice descriptions by decade of the shifts in styles in everything from hair to shoes, though brief, it is a nice general reference.
My favorite little cap came from this painting and that is what i based mine on. It was the little colored bow in the back that struck my fancy :)

Again using the same material as the sleeve flounces so that all these accessory pieces will match and therefore be relatively interchangeable with other outfits. I gave my little cap a ruffled edge for decoration, and i might add a little lace as well if i can find something small that i like between now and Saturday ;)
I think i made it a little too big but i hope once i have my hair all piled up on my head that it will be just right :)
This next piece I'm not sure i am really happy with and may change if i can figure out something better but for now it will work and allow me to wear the Robe . . . I made a matching stomacher. I made it with a heavy canvas interlining and about a half dozen plastic bones for extra rigidity. 

But all on its own it was just too plain, so i added these little pieces of lace that for not too close up look like embroidery and the big white bow across the top that seems to be a common decoration/ functioning closure in the period.
I'm thinking about ripping off the lace and adding lacing instead like the original below . . .not sure . . .
And last but not least i made a little ruffle of my white material to edge the neckline on the Robe, its only really tacked in along the back, but its to help hide all the tattooing i have ;)


  1. Pretty stuff! I've never heard of a drawstring for the ruffles; interesting! I've only heard of the ones that are sewn to a band, which is then basted into the sleeves and can be swapped around.

    1. Thanks :)

      And as for drawstrings in the sleeves, i did not mean to imply that a drawstring was the historically accurate construction method for these items. I was simply meaning that it would be a more period cheat then elastic which had not yet been invented at this point.

      I realize that the sleeve ruffles would have been basted into each outfit but i dont have the time nor the patience for such a thing and want to be able to move the sleeves from one outfit to the next with out having to break out my needle and thread :)

  2. I'm so glad we've FINALLY officially made each other's aquaintences! You know how it goes in overlapping friend circles... Sometimes you just wind up never getting introduced! LOL

    Anyway, I loved the blue gown! And I loved it when you and the other Government House ladies "ran away" and joined us courtesans for shenanigans this weekend! Let's definitely do more silliness like this in the future!

    1. Sarah, it was so great to finally and offcially meet you too!. The ladies and I had a blast running away to play with you and your group for a few hours :) there is already talk of doing something more official even for next year.

      It is always to much fun to meet a fellow costumer and blogger in person! Hope to see you at another event soon :)