Thursday 24 October 2013

1740/50s Chardin Striped Robe a la Francaise

(C) Coltrane Koh

I have been stumbling across stripey 18th century gowns lately and wanting to do something 1750s, I have come up with my 1740/50s striped Chardin Francaise.
It all started with this wonderful gown, a very beautiful late Robe a la Francaise with green stripes. SOOO nice! But not 1750s.

MetMuseum 1780s

Then I came across this picture by Chardin which has been painted in 1741. And what Stripes they are! Of course you can't see much of the gown,  but it's wide stripes- I think the flounces are sticking out of wide winged cuffs. The robe is worn retroussee dans le poches. It really fuelled my imagination! :)

Morgentoilette, Chardin 1741

Also Norah Waugh mentions wide stripes as typical for the earlier 18th century in "the Cut of Women's clothes".  And THEN this really wide green and ivory stiped taffeta silks just begged to be made into something. ;)

ivory/seaweed green

The stripes are 20cm/8inches wide, that's quite something, I dare say, that's pretty wild. I have to admit, when ordering the fabric online, 8 inches stripes didn't seem quite as wide as they are, when 10 yards of fabric are spread out in front of you... :) (possibly has to do with being used to the metric system too... 8 inches just doesn't sound quite as big as 20cm!!)
Anyway, I decided to give it a real go. My version has relatively slim sleeves with winged cuffs.
Also I chose to make the petticoat from the same fabric and not a different colour like in the picture.
The robe is worn over side hoops (rocking horse pattern) and a quilted petticoat, and I have once again used JP Ryans Pet-en-l'air/Robe a la Francaise pattern. Still loving it.


  1. Can I please ask how much fabric you need to make the whole gown - did you mention 10 yards - can I ask the width of the fabric as I would like to design and make a gown using the same pattern - thank you

  2. Hei, yes, I did mention 10 yards. My fabric was 60inches in width. That's about the amount I need for size 6-8 Gown and Skirt.
    The amount of fabric you need depends entirely on your definite design (the back pleats e.g.) and your size. You either follow a pattern and their recommendations like I did, or you can refer to this page for further information on materials
    There is no universal answer to your question. I wish you good luck and happy sewing.