Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Polonaise Continued

As another little escape from the cosplay side of things here, I finally caved and purchased 3 yards of luscious ruby red silk taffeta. This will become the petticoat for the 1770s polonaise I've had on the sidelines (for AFTER I get the stays built), mentioned here and here. I finally found the right red to accompany the color of the print on the cotton I will use for the polonaise. I found plenty of 'OMG that's red' reds, muddy burgundy and way-too-dark/pink wine shades to be of any use. Renaissance Fabrics had this lovely Ruby Red that, I think, will work perfectly or at least darn close:

The back of my dress in the red & ivory stripe cotton.

I won't be making the entirety of the petticoat out of this silk, choosing instead to make the parts covered by the polonaise out of a fine burgundy or neutral cotton. This is an historically accurate way to save on silk, and was done by even the upper classes. 3 yards should be plenty to cover the front and lower hem around the back in silk over the red cotton lining, leaving the remaining silk to make a flounce or a lot of ruched trim.

I'm going for something between the very late 1770s, to around 1780. Something like this:

As you can see above, the trim on the contrasting petticoat only decorates the front, something I find interesting and as a bit of a relief. I don't *need* to try and trim the entire circumference, and it's still historically appropriate. I also know I won't have enough of the printed polonaise fabric left over to make trim from. So, the use of a sheer ivory silk organdy I have stashed away should make for a nice contrast trim, similar to the gown in this plate:

Of course, the trimmings on the polonaise will be different, but I wouldn't mind experimenting with that ivory silk organza I have. Some of the textures on the body and sleeves are stunning, and I'd like to try doing some Hertzenruch (heart ruching) style trims in that sheer ivory. Below uses a similar technique as what we see on the gown above, only done on a single ribbon:

You can find a tutorial on how to do this style of trim here at Threads.


  1. Lovely! That smocking on the original you posted actually reminds me of the smocking on one of the Game of Thrones costumes!


    1. Wow! That is amazing. Seriously, the sheer level of stunning detail on those costumes is crazy. I've seen a number of them up close and they are so, so beautiful. I love how they reflected a dragon scale texture on that one you linked to, for Daenerys' costume.
      Really good continuity and art direction in film, let alone TV, always makes me happy ;-)


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