Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ivory and Gold Silk Regency Gown

Ah, finally! I managed to find time to get pictures of my new Regency Gown! :)

I loved this project! I dreamed up the design after hours of scouring Pinterest for accurate and  less "typical" regency styles. It's a difficult task because I also had to LIKE the looks. I'm not a fan of most Regency styles... something about the high waist that drops in straight, loose lines from there... But I finally settled on a design and sketched a picture for reference. Then, out came the patterns and I started adjusting the base pattern's design and making a mock-up. It actually went fairly smoothly this time! That's always exciting... I'm not terribly fond of project experiences that cause me to dissolve into a puddle of tears and say with Anne of Green Gables "I'm in the depths of despair!" ;) :P

I toyed with the idea of making a Regency stay to make the look more period accurate, but opted for comfort over accuracy this time. :O Since Regency styles aren't my favorite and the dress was intended mostly to be worn to the yearly Regency Christmas Ball my family and I attend and not for reenactments or anything where extreme accuracy was required, I reasoned that I was perfectly justified in going less period correct. (Yes I had this talk with myself... ;) I'm always debating with myself... part of me wants every bit accurate and part of me wants to be as comfortable as possible. :D It's difficult when your style/historical fascination and your comfort levels seem at war with one another. :P)

This dress is made of REAL silk! I was ecstatic when I found ivory colored silk in Joann's red tag section at 50% off! I bought all the silk left on the bolt and BARELY had enough! I had to buy some poly silk and piece the under layer where the skirt overlaps in the front. It was scary close and took a bit of finagling and a lot of thinking to accomplish. It had me lying awake, staring into the darkness, puzzling it out a few times! :D I made the hem only about 1/4" in my attempts to make the dress as long as possible.

One of the things I really wanted to do with my new dress was to do a wrap around style... the dress closes with hooks and eyes on the sides. I love doing thread eyes instead of metal, they blend in so well and become nearly invisible! 

I opted not to do a COMPLETELY wrap around style, partly because of the poly piece I wanted to be sure was hidden and partly because I didn't want to have to worry about it flying open to reveal my oh so modern slip.. ;) So, I attached the underskirt to the over skirt at the side seam from the floor to about hip level, leaving just enough room to easily slip the dress on. Voila! No back buttons, and none of the worries of a true wrap around dress. :)

I loved the gold trim I found in the store. There's something special about white and gold, it has a sort of elegant, Grecian feel. I've always liked the Grecian inspired Regency better than most other styles. :) Since I couldn't find a more delicate trim that "went" with the other trim for the neckline and sleeves, I cut off the edges of the main trim and used it for the areas requiring a more delicate touch, and the extra middle bits I used in my hair to tie it all together. :)

Now I have my "dream" Regency dress, and if someday it tickles my fancy, I can take off the trim and accent with another trim or a sheer overdress, but for now, I'm really enjoying the white, gold, and simplicity. :)

Seamstress (way behind on blogging), signing out for the week, er, however long it is this time. ;) :P

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Light Blue Regency Gown

This dress was my first ever Regency Gown, and it has served me well indeed. I've worn it to 3 Regency Balls. It was a last minute project that turned out better than I could realistically have hoped. With only a week  until a Regency Ball I pulled a light blue taffeta from my stash and decided it would suit just fine. :)

I used Butterick 6630 and Simplicity 4055 patterns as a base, and tailored it to my taste from there. I decided to go with an 1820's look with the waist dropped a couple inches below the normal Regency waistline. Well actually I found a picture of first lady Louisa Catherine Adams in a book at the library and based my design off of that... as well as I could with such a limited time at my disposal, that is. ;)

Before the next Regency Ball I added silver and black embroidery at the neck to match the sash. It was only my second attempt at embroidery. I really like doing embroidery, but it is soooo time consuming! I don't think I would have the patience to do the elaborate embroidery some period Regency dresses have! But maybe someday I will find the time and patience to do a project with oodles of embroidery. :)

All in all I've been very pleased with my first Regency dress. But this year I decided that I "needed" a new dress for the Annual Regency Christmas Ball my family and I attend each year. A dress with potential for many different trimmings, etc., so I can change it up each year. Stay tuned for pictures of that dress coming soon! :)