En fourreau pleats are such a pain in the ass. Especially if you’re working with a striped material. Does anybody know if it’s absolutely necessary to pleat the fabric to have an en fourreau back? Because I’ve seen gowns without pleats but none of them are actual extant examples, just movie costumes.
This one here is from Marie Antoinette. Although it’d be easier to make the back like in the picture, I want my gown to be accurate so I’m kinda stuck… Any help here?
The trouble with museum photos is that the ones that won’t zoom are generally from too far away to really tell, so I’ve found a few that look like they have the center back cut en fourreau, with shaped pieces on either side of the CB pieces: one, two, three, four, five. However, these merely have deeply pointed backs, and aren’t en fourreau: one, two, three. (And, for good measure, some with stitched-down pleats: one, two.) What you might want to do - assuming you haven’t already, sorry if you have - is check Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion I and Norah Waugh’s Cut of Women’s Clothes. There are multiple patterns of robes à l’anglaise in them. I’d look for you, but I won’t be in the same place as mine for about a week. I can check when I get back to them, though, if you’d like. But going by MMA examples, it looks like you could probably do and en fourreau back with shaped pieces.
You said more recently that you’re having trouble fitting the back - you might want to try Googling for directions on making a duct-tape mannequin. I’ve never tried using one, but it’s got to be easier than fitting it to yourself.
Thank you for the answer. I also noticed two other people replied so this post is for them as well.
It’s good to know the non-pleated en fourreau back is accurate too. The examples at the Met were helpful, especially the blue Danish gown. I never came across that one when I looked on the website… I love how you can always find something new on there.
Yes, I once googled for duct tape dummy tutorials but I got bored reading them and gave up the idea. I’ll just have to ask my sister to pin the bodice lining pieces on me and see if they fit.
I did check Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion but the only en fourreau gown in the book is pleated. I don’t have Norah Waugh’s book though I’ll buy it when I have more money.
As for my dress, I have already started doing the pleats. It wasn’t really that hard and I rather like how they look. I will post some photos later if the camera stops hating me.