Weddingote: Draping and Testing

Now that Costume College has come and gone, it's time to focus seriously on my wedding gown, which is to be worn in two months time.  I'm going to share my progress here (I've told Mr. C he's forbidden to read my blog, not like he does anyway), starting from the very beginning...draping/patterning/testing.

Marie Antoinette redingote gown, photo by Yve Fontilea, via Costumer's Guide
I set to work on recreating my favorite gown from Marie Antoinette, starting with my basic I-know-it-fits Robe a l'Anglaise pattern.  I smooshed it together with a basic modern blazer pattern, to get the neckline for the collar somewhat in the ballpark.  I'm very unfamiliar with collars - they scare me to death - especially a shawl collar, which has a funny extension piece that goes around the back of the neck, all in one with the front piece.

The tail off the back will be a full extension into the skirt.  For the test piece, it's going to be the tail of a pierrot.
With a combination of flat patterning and draping, I arrived at something that looked right-ish, but instead of jumping right in to the silk taffeta (like I normally do), I've decided to make a test garment out of some faille-like medium-weight stuff I've had for ages, asking to something inspired by this KCI jacket:

Kyoto Costume Institute - Jacket (pierrot) 1790
I'm *so glad* I've been noodling away on this test garment, because I've already learned quite a lot of things.

The button cuffs are stupid and on the final version won't be functional. After this photo, I promptly wacked them off and the sleeves for the test jacket will be 3/4, thankyouverymuch.

Putting together the collar has been eye-opening.  I'm following the instructions in Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, for taping the roll lines and pad stitching the lapels.  I'm also referencing The Victorian Tailor, for help with, uh, everything collar-related.  I didn't use hair canvas on my test collar here, but will be on the final gown.

So I've arrived at something that looks like it's working now.  I need to extend the waistline about a 1/2", as is usual for me, but otherwise I think the bodice is going to work out nicely.  Yay! I plan to finish this jacket before starting on the final gown, just in case there are any more surprises, and also because it'll be nice to have a new 18th c. thing. :-)