I can imagine being an organized person must be a lovely thing. Imagine going to start a new 18th century costume and actually knowing where you put your 18th century patterns? It would be so nice! Sadly, since I am not an organized person by any means...I couldn't find my patterns anywhere and had to trace this bodice pattern off of an old bodice and tear the sleeve apart in order to trace out a new sleeve pattern. What I am saying is, ORGANIZE YOUR SEWING ROOM....honestly...
So the Indian cotton l'anglaise had a rocky start as I re-created my usual basic 18th century bodice pattern and then worked on fitting some of the fiddly bits. Once I finally had the pattern working how I like, I cut out a bodice lining from a rust colored linen I already had on hand. Though the color doesn't really match the Indian cotton, I am trying to use up my stash and it will never really be seen, so it should work out fine.
After I cut out the lining I got to work on pleating the back for that authentico l'anglaise look. I used these instructions (here) from Angela of The Merry Dressmaker. To be fair I sorta just winged it, pleating as much or as little as I saw fit to get the right sort of look. There is a large enough range of pleat widths and arrangements in real extant gowns that I didn't worry too much about it. After arranging the pleats I carefully lined up my back lining piece and cut out the back!
Eeek! Makes me nervous! Next I'll be sewing the fronts to the new pleated back, and sewing the lining all together separately. I'll attach the side front skirt panels to the side of the back and then pleat the skirt onto the bodice edge. I was hoping to have enough fabric to make a matching petticoat for this gown, but a mistake made in cutting made sure that wasn't going to happen! Oops! Luckily both my black voile and ivory muslin petticoats will match this gown well. I will also be adding loops and ties to the back of this gown so I can wear it retroussée AKA pulled up in puffs like a robe a la polonaise.
So much sewing to do, so little time, so I am off to get back at it!