>All has been quiet here as I did a mad rush to finish a Regency ballgown for the Jane Austen Evening event! I have some more photos coming soon, but here’s some of what I did and my finished project!
I was brainstorming ideas and going through books and got several bodice sketches done, but after visiting Fashioning Fashion again I decided needed the bodice of the beautiful gown with the train in the collection. So I set about altering my Hunnisett bodice to do what the one in the exhibition did- well- a resemblance of it at any form.
Luckily I remembered to take my sketchbook with me to the lectures, so got a chance to capture the bodice front and back in more detail. The sleeves are similar enough to the sleeves of the gown I wore last year- so I can just use the same pattern, which thankfully enough is still neatly organized in a manila envelope. I found another image of the gown on LACMA’s website.
This is the fabric I used- a yummy green Indian sari with silver spangles, and a silk blend taffeta in green.
The bodice was the trickiest part for pattern making- I eventually just used the Hunisett pattern as a base and used flat pattern making to alter the front and back bodice.
I had a hard time squeezing in sewing time last week. I actually sewed one of these sleeves three times- twice the wrong way, then I figured out I sewed two of the same under sleeve. They’re curved very similarly, so I had flipped them all around trying to figure it out, but finally got it. Notches, they are your friends. I should have used them. In a moment of pure insanity I actually sewed and finished the facings of two of the slits by hand- and then remembered I had just three days to finish the whole gown.
I finished the front bodice piece with a piping of the green taffeta and then pinned the center front bodice and gathers to position and tried it on for fit (as the dress form is a bit bustier than I am) and hand sewed in the space between the fabric and piping so it wouldn’t show. After the skirt was attached I marked the hem length for the underskirt and hemmed it. It was probably a bit of a backward way to do it, but it worked. (Never mind the sewing disaster area- creative process and all that)
The ball last night was fantastic! I’m still somewhat recovering, but here’s some shots of my finished dress and turbany hat thing. All the dress was finished and sewn! The turban was sewn as a hat and the trim was pinned into place. Still, it was finished all rather quickly and I was happy with the end result :)
If you are interested in this period make sure to check out Beth’s blog Fashioning Beau Brummel- it was great fun to talk of our projects, and the ensemble she made her husband was just fantastic- not to mention her own lovely gown. She just started another great blog that I think you’ll all enjoy- V is for Vintage!