Sunday, March 6, 2011

The picnic gown

And the next one. My late Georgian picnic gown. The clothing itself is now done. It's all pretty simple. It was actually the fabric that I found first. I was on a bit of a shopping expedition with my Mum and Cousin and I spotted it in the quilting section. I fell in love and thought immediately to get some. It was the bodice fabric that I found first, and unfortunately there really wasn't that much of it left on the roll. Luckily enough, there was a matching plain. Both pieces of fabric have a paisley Jacquard woven in which shows up in different lights. And actually, my first thought on finding that fabric was to go with a jacket and skirt ensemble. So here we have it. The jacket was put together by using to different patterns, both from JP Ryan. One was the carraco jacket pattern and the other, the robe al anglaise. There was a lot of guess work going on as to how the back would sit, but I knew that I wanted it pretty full and to have a x2 ruffle. Thankfully, my mock up came out perfectly, so I was ready to get onto the bodice. 
It all came together nicely and then sat for a while waiting for me to try on my stays so that I could work out where the centre front would sit and the button overlaps. That done, I inserted some boning with a tiny running back stitch and stitched up the lining. The hardest decision that I had to make was the buttons. I had some lovely coconut ones in my stash that would be neat but just weren't the right colour for what I was after. I dug through my silk stash and came up with my leftover sherbert orange pieces. (I have used this colour so much - regency gown, bustle gown) The colour matched rather perfectly with the spray of flowers, so I handed over some buttons to my mum for covering (I have tried and failed to do it myself!). It was just then a matter of finishing off with some button holes and a little button sewing. 
As for the skirt, it was really the simpler part of the two. Though I did stuff up the maths. The skirt is very simple, it's six panels of fabric (my fabric cut in half down the centre), and then a ruffle of fabric on the bottom. In all my adding up, I somehow managed to forget the hem allowance. The skirt has a thin waistband on the top and is made in the style of Georgian skirts with two side seam splits and ties that do up around the waist. As for the hem, since I didn't have enough fabric left over, I went through my stash and dug out some leftovers to make a facing. I then just used a very thin seam to stitch the facing to the hem (it's doubled over for weight) and I finished it off by hand stitching the facing in place. It has actually worked rather well, because it gives the skirt some weight to hold it in place nicely. 
I'm pleased with how it has all come together, but now I really need to decide on a hat. I have bought a new wig to style for this dress, so I have yet to do that. But I just haven't made up my mind about what sort of hat I should have. I do know that I will be trimming it in the silk that I have leftover that matches my buttons and there will be some green and feathers on there, but other than that, my mind is blank. I must rectify that at some point.


  1. What fantastic fabric! No wonder you pounced on it! I can't wait to see pictures of you in it.