and then there was the dress. i knew i was going to make one for my trip even though i have very limited experience with sewing clothes. i picked a dress pattern from Sense & Sensibility Patterns and the patterns for the undergarments–the short stays and the chemise. i blogged about making them previously. i have moved slowly and cautiously with the help of kimberli mckay at the Sewing Studio. i met with her infrequently through the winter up through now. below is the order i made the pieces. i bought most of my fabric from Paron Fabrics and my ribbon from M&J.
chemise and short stays i made these two pieces first. you can’t really wear a regency dress without the proper undergarments. i made one mock-up chemise and one final one. i meant to make a second short stays, but settled with the first one i made, but altered it to fit me better. these two pieces alone taught me so much: french seams, gussets and hand sewn eyelets.
the dress i made two mock-up dresses with spare fabric, muslin, and old bedsheets: the first mock-up as designed, the second with the pattern altered to fit. i had a hard time committing to the final dress fabric. i picked a cotton material for a day dress–ivory with small, dark red, dots. i have to finish the final trimmings on the dress. the bottom right pic is a possibility with two rows of ribbon at the bottom.
reticule (regency ladies pouch/purse). i stood at paron fabrics just looking and looking at fabric. i liked the nubby-silk fabric. my day dress is not fancy, but i thought i’d try to work with the silk. i practiced making a pouch-purse first and altered a version from my martha stewart sewing book. i used a Sense & Sensibility Patterns’ embroidery design. for the embroidery i did french knots, satin stitch and an over (or under) outline.
i thought making this piece would be simple. i found some illustrations with rough sketches on how to here. i cut a triangle out of light fabric and added the lace edge–this was the tricky part for me. i learned how to add a lace edge here. i had big plans to embroider along the edge, but i was running out of time. i made one and realized the lace was facing the wrong way. i made another and it mostly turned out–all but the corners. good thing the corners will get tucked into my dress (and are not shown in this pic)
bonnet my bonnet kit is from Timely Tresses, the Camelia, brim 1. it was my first time working with bukram, crinoline, wire and silk. when i first read the instructions i was lost. it took a few times reading it to figure out which pieces were what. i learned to be careful when ironing silk after i stained the first pieces i cut with the water spray bottle and ironing it. kimberli helped me a lot. this piece has a lot of hand sewing. i kept going back to the computer to pull up images of bonnets and bonnets from jane austen movies. i really liked the idea of the ties being on the outside of the bonnet. i kept it really simple, but hopefully not so much that it is blah. i don’t usually wear lots of color.
i found a seller on etsy for my gloves. the shawl is from chinatown–$5 “pashmina.” the kids were in tow all summer long to crafty stores and my sewing lessons. they were good sports. gr2 will tell you that i am missing her birthday (by one day) because of my trip. i’ll have to find something special just for her.
all together here i am in costume. i will see how the weather is if i will wear the light pink or the dark brown shawl. a friend of mine lent her brown shawl in case it’s cold (thank you, dear friend). ok, the dress needs a good ironing and i need to smile more. i’ll get there.
more to come.