I have been busy not posting because I have been busy shopping and sewing! I have a most delightful dusty pink...some-kind-of-fabric (ok, it's probably synthetic, but it's not shiny, stretchy, or quilting-cotton) with woven tan stripes and delicate bouquets of green, lavender and pink. Eight yards of it, from the Hancock Fabrics upholstery and home fabrics remnant tables. It's somewhat heavy, and the pattern on it truly is woven in because it's quite ugly on the wrong side with all the threads, but I have a hunch that it's not a wholly natural fiber.
Since last posting, I completed a very nice maize-yellow petticoat to go with my dark blue jacket, and polonaised my striped gown which looks so much better (the more I mess with it, the more pleased I am) and now I'm thinking of giving it a false compere stomacher but can you do that on a gown with robings? I need to look at more paintings and extant gowns to make sure I'm not trying to stretch between too many decades.
Back to the pink fabric: I decided on a quarter back gown from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion, and actually I found it very easy to draft on myself, so the day after I got the fabric I already had all my bodice pieces cut out of the muslin lining and fashion fabric. I'm determined to sew everything by hand, and so far so good! I will try to put up some pictures of the fabric itself later. But if anyone reads this...is there a major trick I'm missing to get your bodice to not wrinkle around the waist? I'm an average sized girl (size 8-10), but even with my stays on and laced as evenly as possible, I have an obvious hourglass figure where the fabric is tight at my bust and right below my waist but wrinkles up with loose fabric around the waist, which is not at all an 18th century silhouette! I have an extreeeemely short torso despite being 5'9". I'm going to try to take it in at the side seams but I've had little luck doing that in the past. Do I just need to be cutting the lower edge of my bodice up higher above the hips so the skirt part truly starts at my natural waist no matter how short-waisted I am? Very confused...any help would be appreciated!