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As mentioned previously, I spent this weekend to Burnley and Trowbridge's Robe Francaise workshop. It was taught by the very talented Brooke Welborn, a journeyman mantua maker who graduated from the Williamsburg apprentice program at the milliner's shop. I travelled with my fitting partner, Melissa Jarrett and our respective spouses, Rick and Dave. 

After a very difficult start (getting bumped around by our accommodations, so we didn't get much sleep the first night), Rick and I went to Colonial Williamsburg for our one free morning...And at 9 am, it was already muggy and 105 degrees! So, we went quickly to the places with a/c, starting first at the Millinery Shop. We checked out the current project--a lovely robe anglaise with over the top trimmings...


SleeveDress DiscussionDoris works trims
After that, we went over to the Jeweler's workshop. Last spring, I had found a lovely paste bow pin which I had not purchased at that time. Fortunately, when we returned this Friday, they still had one last bow pin in stock, so I got it! Yay! Then we headed over to the Mary Dickinson shop, where I picked up a couple of the new tobacco kerchiefs they are selling there:

Kerchiefs
These are really cool repros of a style popular in the period that has, to the best of my knowledge, never been reproduced before--and probably will not be available for terribly long. The kerchiefs are available either as whole cloth that you cut and hem yourself or with each kerchief stitched separately (click image above, use the discount code E11SHIP for free shipping). Finally, we went back to the visitor's center, met a really cool Virginia historian (George Morrow) and headed off to Jamestown, where our class was scheduled.

What can I say, the three days of sewing are a blur. I learned so many new points--and realized I was doing a bunch of things wrong. But the correct was was easier and the result was amazing. Here's my only photo from the workshop--taken to show Melissa the way I was fitting her back:



Here's a preview of my gown (all hand sewn but pinned together)...Towards the end, the heat & exhaustion got me, so I have a bit of sewing left--plus trimming. But I'm pretty psyched at the results!

New gown pinned together

All in all, an amazing weekend. We had a blast hanging out with Melissa and Dave, as well as the other ladies at the workshop. I'd already signed up for the waistcoat workshop--and decided to try to arrange another "suite" accommodation arrangement with a classmate (and her spouse) who are planning to attend as well. Hopefully, this time, our booking will not get screwed up again!

BTW--I think there is only one space left in the waistcoat workshop. If you are interested, sign up fast!

Date: 2011-07-25 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] virginiadear.livejournal.com
Ohhh, so pretty!
I adore the look! The hues of your respective gowns, yours and Melissa's, are beautiful, gorgeous...delicious! M'm!
It would be lovely to attend one of those workshops, on just about *anything!* *sigh* Not for a while, though.

Hope you're recovered from the heat stress, m'dear. 105°F, whether ambient temps or heat index, is no joking matter. We had excessive heat warnings all over the place; you folks must have, too. (Still, perhaps?)

Date: 2011-07-26 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anielmom.livejournal.com
So lovely!

Date: 2011-07-26 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bauhausfrau.livejournal.com
Great pics Mary! Your dress looks so pretty, what a rich color. And thanks for the heads up about the kerchiefs, those are so cool!

Date: 2011-07-27 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viennabelle.livejournal.com
Thanks! I couldn't get back into LJ until this evening to read your comments. I have to get cracking--Melissa wants to fit the sleeve this weekend (and I"m not ready yet)!

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