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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Past Projects · Border-Print Regency




This dress was my second-ever Regency dress- I made it 8 years ago.  (Oh my.  That makes me feel ancient.)  The fabric is a linen/cotton blend, and I found it on super-clearance at JoAnns and it seemed ideally suited to this style.  While the pattern isn't historically-appropriate enough to meet my standards nowadays, I'm still rather attached to it anyway. ;-)

I used Sense and Sensibility's "Elegant Lady's Closet" pattern for the dress, and added darts on the sides of the skirt, to get a smooth fit.  The skirt is pleated in the center back.

The bodice has under-gone a minor alteration- the original pattern has pleats on the shoulders, but even with a few "fixes" I tried, it kept pulling off my shoulders or else just looking bad.  So, I recut the front neckline after a few years. :-)  Hindsight being what it is.... I really don't like how low the back of this dress is, especially with long sleeves.  It gives an odd look, and is rather cold.  A chemisette fixes all those problems, though. :-)

This was my first time using this pattern (I've since made it thrice more) and I ran into major (MAJOR!) issues with the sleeves.  I was still in the Modern Fitting Mindset, and the armholes were a source of much frustration.  They are set very far back, and I didn't understand all the nuances involved in that.  On my (13!) mock-ups, I put the gathering all along the back of the armhole.  That caused odd "mushroom"-looking sleeves which were distasteful to both modern and period sensibilities. ;-)  Thus followed the 13 mock-ups trying to get a better looking sleeve.  I ended up with a sleeve that was better, but certainly not good.  After a few years, I realized that the best way to use the pattern is to concentrate the gathers tightly between the shoulder and side back seams.  A few years ago, I ended up piecing the sleeve cap of this dress to add back the room I had cut down and also re-set the sleeves.  Much better.  And hey- piecing is totally period! ;-)



My turban is a wool/silk shawl wrapped willy-nilly around my head, following the instructions on these two sites.  After a short learning curve, it is a very easy (and forgiving!) hairstyle. :-)


My chemisette was made from a very fine, sheer cotton curtain I found for free at a garage sale.  It is ideal fabric for accessories, and has furnished enough for several projects already!  It is a very basic shape, and can adjust to many different necklines.  It was the very best and most effective accessory I've ever made- no exaggeration!  I feel like it's really taken my regency wardrobe to the next level.  Sometime, I'd really like to do a post about it, so you can see how much of a tremendous difference it makes! :-)


My sequin-y reticule was inspired by an extant example in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and while not my most stunning work, is a nice, usable size. :-)



My necklace miniature was inspired by portraits from the period, and I printed off a portrait I liked and put it in a jewelry frame from Hobby Lobby.

Pointy ballet flats from Target a few years ago + ribbons = great early Regency shoes!


· Thanks for the pictures, Kathryn! ·

15 comments:

  1. What a beautiful dress! The border color is gorgeous!

    Brigid
    the Middle Sister and Singer

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  2. This is truly stunning, and the color is beautiful on your skin!

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  3. These pictures. They make me really (really, really) happy. And so does the dress. And you. ;-)

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    1. I love how flattering your photography is. ;-)

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    2. It helps to have people like you who are easy to flatter. ;-)

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  4. Such a gorgeous dress! And I love the turban! :)

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  5. Very beautiful! It suits you very well!!!

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  6. Simple and and yet so beautiful! You look very cute in the photos, too! :)

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  7. Wow! I need to know where you got your fabric :) I made myself one but alas I cut it out and sewed it a year later... went from a 6 to a 10... does not quite fit me :( Never got to wear it.... Also thinking... If I sent you fabric could you make me a dress (1940s/50s) for a discounted price?? (I work at Joann's so I can also get you a discount on fabric! 20% off total including sales!)

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    1. Hi Rebeckah! I'd be happy to talk with you about a custom order. Feel free to contact me over on Etsy! :-)

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