Currently, all I have of my 18th-century costume is a plain white cotton shift which I whipped up yesterday in a rare non-headachy moment. Wow, I actually sewed something, ain’t that a hoot? That barely counts, although bias tape was involved which made it slightly less than moronically simple. Or does it? Hmm.
I’m still debating bum roll vs. polonaise. If I pouf up the overskirt a la polonaise, a bum roll seems redundant unless I want a reallyreally big butt. But if I don’t polonaise, then the fall of the skirts is prettier with a bum roll. Maybe I should just make one and try it both ways. Not like the thing is that hard or expensive to make.
As soon as I get my corset, I can strap that on (hee) over said shift and start mocking up a bodice. I learned from the estimable Kendra how I could make the Butterick pattern more historically accurate. Center-front closure with no princess seams, or for a stomacher look, just straighten the seams and no center-front closure (which is what I’ll probably do; oh, a robe a l’anglaise wouldn’t have a stomacher? eh, so what? wait, how about this anglaise, 4th dress down — it’s got a stomacher, flat back, polonaise, hah!). There was stuff about the side seams and sleeve placement that I could do, but that’s not as noticeable, thus, I won’t bother.
Funny, I was also considering the Period Impressions polonaise pattern, but a lot of people said they had to curve the back seams to make it more period. I’ve looked at a lot of pictures of extant dresses, and the back seams can be all over the place. Well, not literally, but sometimes there’s a center-back seam, sometimes not, sometimes there are a bunch of skinny curved seams, sometimes just two big ones, and then there’s en forreau backs. (I’m just talking about anglaises here; not the francaise pleated stuff.) Anyway, back seams don’t seem (hee) so important. Lots of historical variation, thus whatever I do is generally ok, IMO.