This simple white dress was made popular by Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, in the 1780s. Shortly after the birth of her first child in 1778, Marie Antoinette retreated to Trianon, a private residence given to her by her husband, where she could raise her children in privacy. At Trianon, there was no ceremony or etiquette, only the quiet company of friends. Everything was to be simpler, including her wardrobe. Her dress designer Rose Bertin, inspired by the muslin dresses worn by the women in the French West Indies, created a loose flowing gown tied at the waist with a large colorful ribbon. The new dress played into Marie's romanticism of the simple life that she longed for and she quickly cast off her her opulent court outfits in favor of the new style. One would think that this simpler dress, representing a more democratic spirit and costing much less than the queen’s previous court wear, would have been celebrated by the people. However, when Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun painted her in it, the portrait launched a scandal. The dress looked too much like a chemise and the people thought their queen had been painted in her underwear!
Despite the public reaction to the queen, the Chemise a la Reine as it had become known, was quickly adopted by the fashionable ladies of France and England and soon became quite popular among women of all social classes.
This PDF pattern by Thimbles and Acorns features a dress which ties in the front with drawstrings at the neckline and waistline. Ribbon ties on the sleeves add interest by creating a second puff at the upper arm. It can be made with or without the neck ruffle. The simplicity of this dress is made elegant with the addition of a colorful ribbon bows at the waistline and upper arms. The dress is open in front and a colorful petticoat adds to the elegance. Topped with the soft crown straw Bergère Hat, the ensemble completes the picture of ethereal beauty.
Recommended Fabrics: Suggested Fabrics: Gown in lightweight or semi-sheer cotton muslin, linen, or silk. Not suitable for knits. Petticoat in lightweight cotton, muslin, linen, or silk. Not suitable for knits. Hat in lightweight cotton, muslin, linen, or silk.
Skill Level: Easy
What You Get: One 24 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides digitally drawn step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.Download, Print, Sew!