Friday, November 2, 2012

A Polonaise Jacket

Here's a Polonaise Jacket I made for my dear Aunt Harding.  Its made from a ribbed cotton fabric and lined in linen.  Pattern is draped.  All seams that can be machine sewn are and what shows is hand stitching.  There are a fwe things still left to do to it, like find some tassles and trim for the back seams, but overall it's finished. 

Robe a la Polonaise
 It is a fitted back gown that is looped up to create poofs in the back. It started to become popular around the 1770's and later....

Norah Waugh states in Cut of Women's Clothes on pg 73 that the robe à l'anglaise was often equipped with tapes to draw up the skirt, and on the topic of the polonaise says:
Though this term is often applied to any eighteenth-century dress with back drapery, it belongs, strictly speaking, to an over dress that appeared c. 1775. This was cut like the man's coat of the same period, with centre back and two far-back side seams all terminating in inverted pleats, the front being in one piece with an underarm dart. It was caught to the top of the bodice centre front ...
 There is a distinct difference that defines the style of Polonaise as opposed to the verb: to polonaise.

V. Polonaise:
 The open skirt of a Robe a l'Anglaise could be poofed up by tucking the front corners through the pocket slits (also known as "retrouss√© dans les poches"), or, later, by means of tapes and loops sewn into the skirt.” It was a trickle up of fashion from the lower class shepherdess and milk maids who would ruck up their skirts to avoid getting them dirty.

N. Polonaise:
Its a popular style in the 1770s and 80s defined by the separate outer front which drapes away from the body.  The back is also cut similar to a mans jacket with inverted pleats. It can be a short jacket with no polonaising down to a longer gown, with polonaising.
Contrasting and self trimming was evident, as well as silk gauze pleated along the edge of the gown and a large gathered flounce on the petticoat.  Stripes also became popular with this style.

Now that we are done with the boring explanations, I choose to do the Polonaise Jacket from Norah Waugh's The Cut of Women's Clothes, Diagram XXI

I have since finished it and added the box pleated trimming....but here are some pics of before the trimming. I've also added a piece of boning down the center front to keep the line straight so it doesn't buckle.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cake Love...

I made cake today.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Italian Butter Cream Icing and strawberry jam filling.

You know you want some....

My friend Garth has decided to live with us for a but and to celebrate his arrival, I baked a cake and of course I had to try out a piping technique I saw on pinterest.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mrs Letty and Her Lovely Brunswick

Mrs. Letty came to me one day.

She had a problem...

Mornings were oh so cold and damp in camp and she wanted something that would keep her warm while she prepared morning meals for the soldiers.  Mrs Letty had very little, as she became a washer woman when her soldier husband died in a skirmish, and a few months before she had been cheated out of wages by another washer woman who had invaded camp and was undercutting her prices and offering more than just washing services!

I was astonished, yet a little saddened to hear her plight.  Mrs Letty had been saving her small pittance for years to gain enough money to afford construction of a new Brunswick and this new interloper threatened her way of life....

I know I shouldn't feel sorry for the lowly workers, but I did, and in trade I decided to construct her a new jacket.  She agreed to wash my linens in exchange.  She brought me the fabric that had been passed down to her.  It was a serviceable brown wool and light weight slubby silk in red.  What a great color to support the crown with.

 Miss Letty was quite please with how well it turned out an I don't have to wash my linens for the next year.  I think it was a great act of charity....

Your Truly,

Mrs. Elizabeth Harding (aka Kate)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Blue En Fourreau

I've been avoiding my blog....There I said it!

I have been super busy creating, and have ton of things that I have made  over the past 8 months that I would love to share with you, and I will.  But I'll be honest, It's probably just gonna be pics and not much writing.  But Who doesn't love Pictures of pretty things!

The Blue Linen En Fourreau......

This was a commission I made for Mrs. B.  It was a lovely linen that she wished to be made into a gown that would be servicable for a lengthy period of time.  It was constructed from 3 meters of fabric and all visible seams were hand sewn, while interior seams were machined.   The pattern is draped, with the sleeves being a combination of modern pattern drafting and draping.

Piecing to get a full sleeve.

ALAS...even though this gown was made almost a year ago I still have no pictures of Mrs. S in the gown....That woman is elusive!




Monday, February 27, 2012


So I really wanted to buy some vast quantities of silk for a Robe a La Francaise for myself, but the hubbykins has vetoed THAT idea and proposed another:  Sell some of the fabric that I'm NOT using so I can buy the stuff I want.

WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!!!!  *can you hear the horror in my voice?

Once I got over the initial shock of SELLING  "my pretties", (think golum, LOTR), his idea actually had some, yes....some, merit.  LOL. 

So I trallahed to my sewing room and started looking at my stash and realized I've had fabric in their from years, and years, and years, and maybe a decade too, thrown in for good measure.  :D

I've started listing them on in my shop, So have a jaunt on over and check them out.  Maybe they will inspire you like, they inspired me.  Honestly, they want to come home with you...They are tired of being left alone with no purpose, except so sit on a shelf and wait.  Wait for a gentle caress as it's lovingly stroked and layed flat...erm....

Ahem, yah so, like I was saying, fabric for sale....check it out!  Here's the link to my store:

The Naked Catwalk/LuxaRose Apparel on

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Saque....Or the gown I almost killed myself to make in a week!

So here are more photo's of the Robe a la Francais that I made for a wonderful lady in the Regiment. Mrs. L provided the fabric, a silk dupioni, and requested that it could be done by the celebration for Robbie Burns. 

I warn you...Its going to be SUPER heavy with pictures!  But I think you'll enjoy that. The only thing missing is the trimming.  She also wanted cuffs and decoration which were to be done later.  As it is LATER now, (LOL), I am almost finished on the trimmings and will post pictures soon. 


The stays were hers and the pockets I made for this gown.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

hi....ANd stuff!

So, I'll admit, I have been Seriously LACKING in blog posts....Its been what?  MONTHS?  YUp....


I will try to update what has been happening in my sewing life these past few months, but here is a teaser of what I am trying to make....In a week.

Yes I said a Week!

This will be my first Sacque and unfortunately I don't get to be the recipient....:(

WHat you can't see is the back lining piece, which is made out of two layers of linen.  It has an opening 2/3 of the way up the back and has lacing holes to allow for adjustment  if needed.  I also boned the center back as well as the middle of the side back piece in order to support the "Watteau" pleats so they didn't collapse or pull at the neckline.  The gown is made from a Silk dupioni, which I know isn't period correct, but it is what the client bought to use.  It is a finer dupioni, so it does have slubs, but not that many. 

I also have a Facebook page for my blog if you want to start following it...I actually post more photo's there as its easier to upload when I take pics from my phone....

The Naked Catwalk

Ta for now.