Making an Edwardian Dressing Gown 1: Inspiration

Oh dear, look at her — she’s getting -creative- again. I can’t help it. I just do these things sometimes.

This particular vortex was set off by the Diana Wynne Jones conference, in Bristol August 9-10 this year. Since in conjunction with the appearance of the  Edge to Center trilogy I plan to go to Worldcon in Dublin it was relatively easy to add this to my schedule. And there will be dressing gowns, because Christopher Chant, the wizard in the Chrestomanci novels, is noted for his wildly opulent leisure wear. These things are a challenge, a gage flung down by Life, and I try to always pick them up and enter the lists. Even if it gets very weird indeed!

So, a dressing gown. What should it look like? Here are some inspirational images, after the jump:


Or this one, very Chrestomanci:



A luxe bathrobe is doable, right? You want to come along with me while I do this? I have to finish it by August, if I am to carry it to Britain!





Making an Edwardian Dressing Gown 1: Inspiration — 11 Comments

  1. I vote for something without a train, because it is going to be downright dangerous to be wearing anything someone else can trip over if you are going to be wearing it in a crowded room (which is what a con is, after all). Other than that, I think it comes down to what kind of fabric you can find. If you can get something whizbang enough to be its own ornament, then go with the clean lines of the first example. If you can’t, then something as layered as the second one is lovely.

    Happy hunting!

  2. Oh, one must be modern. In a world with revolving doors and stick shift cars, a train is madness unless you have a lady in waiting on staff to help you manage it. And, I’m going to use my sewing machine instead of paying miserable seamstresses in attics in Clapham to do the sewing. Fear not!

  3. Start with your fabric! What kind of flow does it have? Is it stiff or like warm liquid or somewhere in between? Let that dictate the pattern. And go for looser fitting than the first one–movement in the shoulders. The second one could be cut down to eliminate the train and still be comfy. I’d stay away from wedding night uselessness–you know, the kind that gets ripped off, never to be used again.

  4. In the 17th century this was called a Banyan – the gown a gentleman wore over shirt and the trouser equivalent when lounging about his quarters with his fellows.

  5. This looks like a fun project, I’d enjoy seeing the fabric and progress, and jummy photo’s of good examples too.