Monday, April 9, 2012

Poiret Sorbet and 1910s Harem Pants

I was beyond delighted to receive an invitation to the Epic Titanic Dinner, hosted by the amazing Jenny-Rose, and of course needed two dresses worthy of the occasion. I chose to make a dress inspired by Poiret's sorbet dress, and for after dinner, to make an outfit with harem pants.

My Poiret dress My Poiret dress

After many false starts, fabric wise, I decided that only the original black and white would do. My dress is taffeta, where the original was satin, for this reason. I also chose to do velvet appliques instead of beaded. Not only did I think this would be pretty, I had many other projects and didn't want to concentrate all of my energy on beading. Quite practical, no? I dyed the velvet myself, and as usual, it was an adventure. The green came out blue, so I overdyed it with yellow, which when I washed the fabrics together turned the pink to the somewhat peachy color it is now. No matter though, as I very much like the colors!

My Poiret dress My Poiret dress

The dress opens like a robe--very simple, it crosses over in front and the skirt has a wide enough overlap to make a solid front. It's really just a wrap dress. The bodice is lined in China silk and the skirt is unlined. The hooped portion of the skirt is self lined and I just wear it over the dress. This seemed most logical. The hem is boned with artificial whalebone, as I didn't want something heavy in the hem. The belt is a piece of silk velvet, wider than the lining so it's ruched. I chose to make the back fitted (though I haven't seen a picture of the back of the original) and fit the sleeves a little more closely as I wanted a slightly different--though still period--look than the original.

The pattern for the bodice was based on the kimono sleeve bodice I used for my suffragette dress. The skirt was based on a period diagram in The Cut of Women's Clothes. For the overskirt, I cut a trapezoid and played with it until I was happy with how it fit. I'm wearing this over a chemise that's just a tube edged with lace beading with ribbon straps, my teens corset (the 1918 austerity corset from Corsets by Jill Salen, a knee length petticoat and a corset cover that, like the chemise, is essentially a tube of fabric with ribbon straps.

My harem pants My harem pants

My harem pants My harem pants

The bodice for the harem pants is based on the Lady Maud Warrender 1911 pattern from Patterns of Fashion. The lining is boned with artificial whalebone and made with polished cotton. The sleeves were then mounted to this and the green silk taffeta mounted on top. The lining and taffeta close separately.

Bodice Foundation Front Bodice Foundation Back

Bodice Foundation Inside Draping the silk

Draping the silk Done!

The pants are quite simple. They're essentially two tubes with a slightly curved seam at center front and back. The back is about an inch longer than the front. The chiffon is wider than the charmeuse lining. They're attached only at the ankles, so that they can be ironed. The charmeuse and chiffon close separately. I made this to be worn without a corset.