Construction a 18th century stomacher for Robe a la française

As the robe continues to come together, it was time to make the stomacher so that I could really start to understand how the robe will fit with the stomacher in place.

For this project I used:

  • Heavyweight buckram
  • fashion fabric
  • fine cotton as an interlining
  • back lining material

I followed the pattern instructions from Cox and Stowell’s The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking.

It was a Friday night, with Rum & Diet Coke in hand, I started by first making my own graph paper!

Then, I just followed their pattern instructions, by measuring across the tope of the model’s bust line. Their pattern was a little smaller than mine, but no worries, I just went with it. Each of the squares are 1 inch in size.

After adding 1/2″ seam allowance to the the pattern (except on the fold line), I went ahead and cut out the pieces from buckram, lining and the silk taffeta fashion fabric. Below, you can see that the buckram was overlocked to the back lining material.

I went for the fast easy option with the fashion fabric and just used stitch witchery.

With the palette complete, embellishment started. There are many videos on YouTube for great ideas on how to make simply bows, so I’m not going to go in the details here as so many already have.

Above, you can see the piece coming together. Using some of the furbelows I’ve been making for the robe, I made some simple, large bows that get just slightly smaller as they go down the stomacher. Adding some rhinestones and pearls along the way, the piece started to look very elegant, at least in my opinion.

And finally after about 1.5 hours –

This is a fun project that didn’t really take too much time either! Happy constructing!

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