So under the watchful eye of Santa in his red candy holder boot, today is going to be laundry day as yards and yards of fabric are being washed in preparation for the bedgown workshop. Last fall on my study trip to the UK, I was fortunate to study, measure and photograph the bedgown in the Manchester City Galleries.
|Manchester City Galleries|
The most popular and best pattern for a bedgown is the Kannik's Korner pattern, it is meticulously drawn with good directions. It is however based on the French version of a bedgown detailed by M. Garsault.
This French diagram is c1760s, making a bedgown with very full sleeves and pleats at the back and at the waist. The English bedgown we are making is not as full in the sleeve, it is later c1770s, and has no pleats at either the back or the waist. It is fully lined. There are other commercial patterns and diagrams available but they are speculative and not based on a particular extant example.
Since this is a one day workshop only, the decision was made (and we will find out if it works) to have the bedgowns pre cut and ready as a kit for the participants. This means a ton more work on our end, but will simplify the day for those taking the class and allow them to make significant progress on the construction instead of struggling to cut out large expanses of fabric in a short amount of time. More pictures to follow. I have made a prototype, but have yet to photograph it!