A Lady Pouring Chocolate

When I go to an art museum, I look at the clothes.  When I am confronted with a roomful of nudes, I get all annoyed.  Why would anyone want to look at people without clothes?  I just don’t get it.  Above is a painting in London’s National Gallery called A Lady Pouring Chocolate by Jean-Etienne Liotard.  If you ever get the chance, go and see this painting, and get the audio tour.  The explanation of what’s going on in the painting is hilarious.  But about the dress.  I’ve been wanting to make one like it for a while.   When the new Vogue patterns came out,  I saw that Vogue 1152 bears some resemblance to the dress in the painting.  It is certainly not exactly the same, but it has the deep V and the horizontal detail at the waist.  I have no desire to look like I just stepped out of a costume drama (most days, anyway), so that’s close enough for me.

Here’s my finished dress.  The center panels are silk georgette, the side panels and sleeves are a silk-cotton blend.  I made a few changes to the pattern, starting with the detail at the front.  I tried to use piping, as recommended on the pattern, but it came out all wonky. So I started again using shirred georgette and strips of contrast.  It came out much better.
I also changed the neckline finish.  The pattern has a facing, which I just hate.  Facings never stay in place.  Instead of the facing, I cut the 4 of the upper center front pattern piece, and used 2 as a sort of self-lining.
The pattern recommends a side zipper.  I basted the side seams together, and realized that I could still get it on over my head without the zipper, so I omitted it.
Here’s the back.  I cut the size pattern that my measurements would indicate, but there was too much ease at the waist.  I did a quick-and-dirty fix by pulling in the elastic a bit to make it tighter at the waist.
French seams
Strawberry embroidered on the inside back yoke


  1. Posted March 4, 2010 at 12:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    I saw the line drawing on the pattern as a shirt dress with an even hem, a tunic top over slim pants, a long semi formal. I'm glad you did this design. It's just so beatiful and exciting to see the piece.

  2. Posted March 4, 2010 at 1:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful. I was not at all drawn to this dress as made by Vogue, but yours is gorgeous. I need this pattern.

  3. Posted March 4, 2010 at 1:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely. Gorgeous color.

  4. Posted March 4, 2010 at 1:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    I also look at clothes, more importantly SHOES!! They have some wild gladiator designs in the National Gallery. I love what you did with the dress, it looks so elegant in a solid.

  5. Posted March 4, 2010 at 2:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful! Simply beautiful!

  6. Posted March 4, 2010 at 3:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine, excellent dress. I really like your embroideries – like hidden treasures – in your garments. I always enjoy your blog.

  7. Posted March 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    great dress and I am sure it will look stunning on you.

  8. Posted March 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous! I love the contrasting fabrics – add such a chic element to the dress.

  9. Posted March 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That's a very pretty dress. A bit Elizabethan. I imagine it is stunning on you.

  10. Posted March 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That's a very pretty dress. A bit Elizabethan. I imagine it is stunning on you.

  11. Posted March 10, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Your dress is beautiful! I always love looking in to see what you've come up with and I'm never disappointed.

  12. Posted March 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really, I LOVE your creations, I love your dress!

  13. Posted March 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Cute dress! Love the little embroidered designs on your back facings… what a great idea!

  14. Posted March 22, 2010 at 4:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Claudine, I am posting a second comment because I really enjoy your blog. I have nominated you for a new award which you can pick up from my blog (if you have time).

  15. Posted March 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Amazing! Seriously lovely dress. I'd love the see it on! How do you do shirring? With the sewing machine?? Thanks for your sewing advice! Going to give it a go on Friday when I"m finished with exams 🙂

  16. Posted March 29, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Your dress is lovely! I love your statement about getting annoyed in a room full of nudes – so funny.

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