This is the fourth anglaise I've made. On my first three, I wasn't really happy with how the skirt pleats sat under the back pleats. My Marie Antoinette dress was supposed to have an en fourreau back, but a cutting mistake paired with frustration of the skirt pleats not sitting how I wanted them to changed that plan.
This meant that I put a lot more thought into this dress than I usually do before starting a project, and I came to the conclusion that doing the dress backwards--pleat the skirt, and then pleat the back pleats--would be easier.
This tutorial starts with a fitted lining. My fitted lining is an altered version of my stripey dress with a fitted back and separate skirt.
The dress I'll be using for the tutorial is made with absolutely lovely cotton/wool Virginia cloth from Burnley and Trowbridge. It has a stomacher front, but changing it to a closed front doesn't alter the construction--just cut the appropriate front pieces.
Here's a totally not to scale version of what my lining looks like. I recommend looking at the anglaise patterns in Costume Close-Up, Fitting and Proper, and Patterns of Fashion 1. The latter two show dresses with closed fronts, Costume Close-Up shows a gown with a stomacher.
Step one--Make your lining. I failed to take a picture of my lining, but it's nearly identical to the lining for my robe a la francaise. There are two differences--the anglaise lining doesn't lace up the back, has a slight point at the back waist, and instead of darts, I used separate shoulder pieces.
Step two--Cut your back fabric. Again, I neglected to take a picture. So, you're treated to my *lovely* artwork :)
Place your back pattern piece about five inches from the fold and about an inch from the top. Cut on the blue lines as shown in the drawing. The extra space above the shoulder and starting the skirt about an inch above waist will give you a little wiggle room--it's easy to trim it away later!
If you're using skirt supports--I'm not in this dress--you can angle the top skirt seam up to make room for them.
Step Three--Put your lining on your dressform. Your dressform does not need to fit. Mine is approximately my measurements and one shoulder is a good one inch higher than the other. Your lining fits--so will the dress!
Pin the fabric to the lining. Start by pinning it to the shoulder and side seams. You'll have about 10 inches of extra fabric. Smooth the fabric towards the middle, and pin in random places on the back to keep it smooth.
Once you've smoothed the back, pin the excess fabric out. You're going to ignore this for now.
Cut! This part is, admittedly, a little frightening, but doing it this way means you've cut in the right place. Cut, using your lining as a guide, about one quarter to one half an inch below the lining. Once you get past the curved part, taper it so it's about the same length as the lining. This allows you to turn up the edge to cover the pleats. This is the method used on the gown in Costume Close-Up
And here it is--cut on both sides!
The next step is to pleat the skirt to the linen lining. Pin the outer fabric out of the way for this. I found it easier to do this off the dressform. As you can see, we're still ignoring that ten inches of fabric in the center.
Next, sew the pleats to the lining. Sorry, I don't have pictures, but it is easy. I sewed the pleats down in two places--a running stitch at the top of the pleats to hold them in place, and I whipstitched them to the bottom of the lining.
Put the dress back on the dressform, smooth the outer fabric over the pleats, and fold up the edge. Pin in place, and sew. Stop stitching about one inch from the side seam. This is important later! I used a spaced backstitch for this. I did this directly on the form.
Repeat! And now it's time to loosen the fabric you have in the back. Be sure to mark the center--pins are probably the easiest way to do it!
This tutorial will now continue in part two...