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 dress 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. Instructions are included for versions for both American Girl® and A Girl for All Time Dolls®.
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.Supplies Needed:
Skill Level: Easy
What You Get: One 32 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.
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I just finished this Gaulle, or Chemise a la Reine, for my Girl of All Time doll Amelia. (Well, Amelia is wearing it right now, but Lydia and Matilda are begging to try it on!) I made it in a lightweight white linen with self ruffle, and the petticoat is a pinky coral polished cotton; ribbons are the closest shade I could find, though they are not a perfect match. I haven't made the hat, but probably will, to complete the outfit. The dress was fairly easy to make, with the exception of attaching the ruffle, which was quite tricky. I found an error in the pattern also....the fold lines for the waistline casing on the front and back pieces did not match up, but that was not difficult to correct....just redrew the lines for the front. (The pieces for the AG doll size do match.) An experienced seamstress will not have any problem completing this, with care on attaching the ruffle. It looks just precious on the doll when you pull up the ribbons for the neckline and waist, and make the little bows on the sleeves. Directions don't say this, but you should wrap the wide ribbon around the waist twice before tying the bow in back. I WILL be making more gowns by this pattern, for my American Girl dolls, too. It's superb!