IKEA Fabric 18th Century Round Gown

IKEA Fabric 18th Century Round Gown

In May, I made an 18th century round gown to wear to Colonial Williamsburg. I’ll post photos later from the trip (assuming I ever catch up on photo processing), but I wanted to post a couple of quick photos of the dress.

Ikea 18th century round gown

A lot of people in the historical costuming community have made dresses using duvet covers and curtains from IKEA. I needed a breathable fabric for the heat of Williamsburg and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on fabric, so an IKEA duvet cover was a perfect choice.

I decided to dye the fabric because I don’t really like white. I washed my fabric to pre-shrink and wash out any sizing. The next step should have been to dye the fabric before cutting, but I didn’t have a pot big enough to dye an entire duvet cover. I decided to cut all my pieces out first and serge the edges to prevent any fraying. It was a tight squeeze but I was able to make the entire dress out of  one king sized Stenört duvet cover. I did have to use the pillow covers too… those became my sleeves. =D

I didn’t have a pattern for a round gown, but a round gown is just an open robe dress with a front panel added to the skirt. I used a modified J.P. Ryan Robe l’Anglaise pattern. I found Koshka the Cat’s post about how to put on a round gown super helpful in figuring out construction.

I constructed the dress like a standard robe l’anglaise, then I sewed on the front panel, leaving a 10 inch opening at the sides. Because I was worried about the heat in Williamsburg, I tried to keep the dress as light as possible and skipped putting in a lining. I finished the neckline using a facing instead. So yeah, don’t look at the insides of this dress for anything remotely resembling historical accuracy. (Please also note my very non-historically-accurate hook and bar closures.) =D

Ikea 18th century round gown

When putting on a round gown, you tie on the front first, and then close the bodice over that. I made my ties long enough to wrap them back around to the front, because it’s a lot easier to tie in front versus the back.

Ikea 18th century round gown

Random aside: that bone in the center front is really jarring because of how visible it is. I’m going to have to remove it…

Ikea 18th century round gown

I feel compelled to show the back because it took me 8 tries to get the pleating right because I can’t do math. =D

Ikea 18th century round gown

And if you want to see more photos of the dress in Williamsburg, they’re on the costume page.

IKEA Fabric 18th Century Round Gown was originally published on Confused Kitty Creations

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