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
There is a distinct difference that defines the style of Polonaise as
opposed to the verb: to 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 "retroussé
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.
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.