Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A Cotton Sacque

Growing increasingly disenchanted with Instagram as a platform for sharing projects, I'm hoping to catch up on posting creations or events from the past months here on the blog. There's just too little space for writing on Instagram, and the whole platform is made for people to just keep compulsively scrolling through and past what people have made till the next eye-candy fix. Poor reward for the time and energy poured into everyone's gorgeous handiwork, which is deserving of much more time and perusal! I'll probably continue to post things there (I'm @littlebitgerman) but it doesn't give me the satisfaction to go back and revisit my photos like it does here in blog posts.

So picking up from my last post aaaages ago, I noticed that at the end I posted a work in progress -- a cotton sacque. I definitely finished it, and got to wear it out to a tea this past year! It turned out not to be my favorite sacque, the cotton is a bit stretchy and the print of course isn't historically accurate, only mimicking a damask (and in a color I don't think I've ever seen in 18thc art, lol!). But it was great practice for the next sacque -- a beautiful light butter-colored floral, also cotton, which I'll share soon as well.

A little false-compere front with buttons. Self-trim with cotton is a little more cantankerous than I expected.

Trying it out with the gown in progress


Had some weird places on the trim that I wasn't happy about, I could never figure out why this one was bulging a bit.

Is there anything as pretty as a sacque-back?

First real try-on with pictures thanks to my hubby. Plz excuse nasty inaccurate Chinese lace -- I basted my much nicer engageantes into this when I actually wore it out of the house...but I just wanted the look here.

I forgot that I *drafted* this until I looked at this picture again to see the back seam. This is probably the last one I'll ever draft (maybe!) -- I did my first blue silk sacque this way too and liked the fit of it but I spent so much time fiddling with it and agonizing over it that it took too long. For my more current sacques I have used only the JP Ryan pattern, which has a side seam for the torso. I actually think I like the back seam better though and might have to do some Frankenpatterning some day.

The first chance I had to wear it was a small tea, thrown by my darling friend Christine (aka SewStine). She finds all the most delightful places and is way too generous. So cute in her lovely cap and chintz gown.

Emily (@historicthimble) has the prettiest bright Italian spring-like.

I tried to go for a day-wear look with cap and sheer apron.

OH YEAH. Oh, all kinds of things are coming back now about this day. I wasn't feeling well and was upset about something so I don't think I was even wearing stays, bad bad girl. ALSO, now I'm remembering that I stupidly washed this gown because I had spilled something on it shortly after making it, and it SHRUNK, because I never pre-washed the fabric before working with it. Annnnd my stomacher that I never should have thrown in there also shrunk hideously tiny, so I had to make a new stomacher for the first outing, and this one sadly doesn't have the pretty pleated trim like my first one. Darnit. Anyway, a pic with my sweet friend Kimberlee in a sacque I helped her finish.

 Stay-less me, looking far too happy and loose, hahaha. Ah well.

After the tea, we all took a little jaunt over to Tower Grove Park for a few outdoor shots -- we'll have to go back in the spring some time when it's all green and lush.

Sara was being our photographer for some of these pictures, bless her! We look very much more suited to a spring garden than this wintery day, but passers-by appreciated us and stopped in their cars more than once to ask what we were up to and had we made our own clothes?

 And of course the obligatory shoe shot! Can't have a gathering without one of these!

Sara's silk bonnet was just the cutest thing! I need to make one.

A smorgasbord of delights!  I actually forgot until just now that Kim and Emily had used the same fabric, but for two different styles of gowns, and that Christine and Sara's were very similar with their little sprigs on ivory. So pretty, and all accessorized just a little differently. I think they would not be out of place on the lovely streets of Colonial Williamsburg. 

All-in-all, I was happy to have a new gown to wear, but I wasn't too impressed with the way the fabric quickly pulled out of shape...there were a lot of wrinkles around the bodice a half-hour into wearing that weren't there before. How much of that was due to me shrinking it in the wash and how much was because of my lack of critical undergarments on a bad day, I don't know. It's all good though! This one I have dubbed the Aqua Practice Sacque, since it was very inexpensive vintage drapery fabric for a reason, and it probably will not go back into rotationbecause I have made four other sacques since! The next one to share, chronologically speaking, is my plaid red/green Christmas sacque... coming soon :)

Yep, definitely not wearing stays. Lol. Maybe I'll try wearing it again some day with proper support.


  1. Oh yes, I vastly prefer blogs to Instagram. Blogs are much more satisfying to read. I'm quite excited to discover you have a blog and am greatly enjoying reading your posts! Your sacque gowns are an inspiration!

    1. Ooooh thank you! But I have to say that I much prefer your large-scale chintz sacque to anything I've made! You just managed the most lovely shape with that.