Post by libertybelle78 on Feb 18, 2011 12:09:29 GMT -5
I was wondering if anyone had advice or reccommendations dressing the full figured lady? I have made one dress by doing my best to enlarge the Simplicity version of the Sense & Sensibility pattern. It is totally abysmal. Maybe it's because I enlarged it on the fly, but the lines, especially in the back, look more like a modern dress than something of the period.
I think I would like to start from scratch with foundation garments, then a dress. I am probably a modern size 26, and I am shaped like a barrel - solid and round with no difference between bust and waist - seriously! (My 1860s corset is comletely straight-seamed in the front - I had to take the gussets out.) I also have a copy of the Period Impressions 1809 Day Dress, but I think it's in a size 20, and I have not heard favorable reviews of it.
My front runners are the Past Patterns "Partially Boned Transition Stays" and "Lewis and Clark Era Gown" and Sense and Sensibility's "Regency Underthings" and "Elegant Lady's Closet" patterns. Does anyone have advice on any of these, and how they may fit a fuller figure? Should I be looking at different patterns all together?
Post by bennettgirl on Feb 18, 2011 13:17:20 GMT -5
I've had some luck with making dresses for full figured women using the elegant ladies closet pattern. both the drawstring and corssover version, i prefer the drawstring version for fuller figures though, i like that it's adjustable. also the pattern is based on actual historical garments and the back and shoulder seams are where they should be for the period. the sleeves are kind of fiddly to work with and will need to be enlarged a bit for bigger sizes because they run somewhat small, but it's really just a matter of adding a couple of inches to the side seams, very easy. attached is a picture of a dress i made for a friend from the drawstring dress pattern.
libertybelle78 - I'm built like a barrel as well. Like bennettgirl, I recommend a dress with drawstring closures in the front. It gives the dress a degree of adjustability and everything doesn't have to fit as exactly as other dresses.
I also recommend a set of long stays, instead of shorter transitional ones. The long stays give a smoother long line under an empire waist dress. The transitional stays can really dig into fuller figures because they don't cover the stomach fully. On me, they push my stomach down and out the bottom, so I have a big stomach bump at the bottom of the stays that shows under dresses and the stays also really dig into that stomach bump. Not fun!
Post by dawnluckham on Feb 18, 2011 15:05:55 GMT -5
Hi Christie! I have to agree – I think you’ll do better with long stays. It depends how soft or firm you are, but I’ve found that larger ladies sometimes get an unwanted roll at the bottom edge of many of the short style stays. I also think you’ll find the long stays more comfortable. The one exception might be Past Patterns #038. The original stays, belonging to the Connecticut Historical Society, were made for a larger lady. I haven’t made this pattern up yet so I won’t jump right in and highly recommend it for your specific needs, but these might work for you.
I think you’re completely on the right track with the idea of getting all of your foundation garments ready and then making a dress. So, you’ll need a chemise, stays and I really, really suggest a petticoat for under your gown. The petticoat will support the skirts of the gown and it just makes the whole picture prettier.
Do your measurements match up with Past Patterns size chart? www.pastpatterns.com/meas.html If they do, I highly recommend you save yourself the headaches and just use their patterns:
The long stays pattern offered is #001. It’s only sized to size 20, but it might be worth a call to speak to them or an e-mail request. Saundra Altman is a lovely lady and she may be able to help you out with a larger size. I know this is dated for 1820-40, but if you shorten the bust gussets just a bit to get a little higher lift, these stays will work perfectly for 1810.
Post by libertybelle78 on Feb 22, 2011 14:22:54 GMT -5
Wow, thanks so much!
Esther - I had honestly not thought about long stays. I have only done 1860s - 1910, and all with the same corset. With the hoop and bustle eras, it doesn't seem to matter as much if I have a pudge below the waist because of the corset, as there is usually so much skirtage to hide it. Thanks you for sparing me a lot of $$ and heartache by steering me away from the mid-length stays!
Bennettgirl, that dress and the young lady modeling it, are gorgeous! Was that photo taken at the Jane Austen Festival in Kentucky? I didn't know until recently that there were drawstring dresses then. All of my late Victorian stuff is so tailored that there is no room for error. I think I am going to like Regency period!
Dawn - thanks for all of the links! I saw the Lewis and Clark gown in action at an event last summer and I fell in love with the cut of the back. I have to admit that I really want to check out PI's Bib Front gown now, too. So many options....
Seriously - thank you a million times over for the advice. I am going to start looking at patterns for long stays now.
Post by bennettgirl on Feb 22, 2011 15:57:14 GMT -5
Thank you for the compliment! i will pass it on to my friend as well. and yes this picture was taken at the jane austen festival in louisville, we will be going again this summer in all new finery! regency is a delightful period and the dresses are so simple to make and hid a lot of figure flaws! I'm sure whatever you come up with it will be beautiful. good luck and have fun!