Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The newest regency wardrobe addition

I'm not sure why exactly I pick dresses with so much wretched handsewing. I swear, drives a person reound the bend. And just when you think that you are done, low and behold there is something else that you forgot and have to handsew down. But I have prevailed and one of my new gowns for JAFA is complete. I can't remember if I wrote much about this dress in the past, so here we go.

I pulled the design from "Costume in Detail". I had found a fashion plate with a lovely open robe and white gown underneath that seemed to be rather high-necked. I managed to find one that was from the 1790s, had the high neck and looked pretty simple to put together. And I have to admit it was relatively. The pattern was pretty quick to whip up, the only part that needed a little adjustment after my first draft and mock up was to extend the neckline up a little more so that it was just a smidge higher.

I find it rather ingenious how this dress goes together. First the under layers are pinned in place. This holds the back in position and gives a little more cover for the stays in front.

Then, the bodice draws up at both the neck and under-bust and ties with a bow. (I had the devils own time finding a cording that was natural and thin enough that it didn't look stupid for the drawstrings).

And finally, the skirt pins into place with a couple of hook and eyes. I am planning to have a couple of pins on hand so that I can pin it as well if needed. The other option is to use ties that attach to each end of the skirt drops and tie in back or front.

I was going to skip the neck ruffle in the beginning as I wasn't really sure that I liked it. But I decided to put it on, and I have to say that it was worth the hassle of hand-hemming the wretched thing. I like how it finishes the neck nicely. And to burst the completed project bubble, I have yet to make the open robe that is going with this dress. I don't even have a pattern drawn up yet. I guess it really is a good thing that I have managed to get Friday off from work. An extra day of sewing would not go astray at this point.


  1. I really like the detail on the back with the diamond shaped piece. Thanks for explaining how it is put together, I would never have guessed the skirt was a separate piece.

  2. I know, it seems a little strange for a regency dress to have the drop front, but I really liked how different it was.