Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gingham Regency Dress

(forgive this empty white space...I messed up the html accidentally on this post...and I can't fix it :P)
For a while now I've been wanting a regency day/work dress.  Simple. Sturdy. Accurate.  Hand-sewn.  I've made a regency ballgown, but as you know, that probably isn't the best clothing choice when cooking or gold panning.  :)  I like the way the ballgown fit, but I had to make some severe modifications to the bodice to make it work. The pattern I used was a Rocking Horse bib front pattern, borrowed from Bascha.  I'm not really sure exactly what I did to the bodice (well really my mom adjusted it, she pinned it to fit once I had it on), but I know we changed every piece of it.  I also added more fabric to the front skirt panel.  I feel bad saying it, but I wouldn't recommend the pattern.  It wasn't worth the work. From my experience, it would be easier (and cheaper) to just draft your own.  Regency really is quite simple anyways. So on to the dress -because the pattern was already tweaked, I just traced my work dress off the ballgown and sewed it with 1/2 seam allowance.

The dress fabric is made of what I think is cotton duck- it was once a couch cover I bought at the thrift store.  It didn't say that it was cotton duck, but it said 100% cotton, and it's thicker and coarser than like calico for example, but not as bad as canvas.  I lined the bodice and bib with white cotton (sheets, also from the thrift store).  
I whip stitched the lining down over the skirt seam allowance
the dress closes in the front with 15 hooks and eyes

bib lining and casing

lining whip stitched over sleeve seam allowance
On the edge of each sleeve I embroidered a flower spray, from an original regency era embroidery pattern.  But I *cough cough* didn't follow it to a T so mine looks *slightly* different :P. I used cotton floss in subtle colors to fit the dress more.
For the sleeve , I actually used the sleeve from dress B of the Simplicity regency costume dress pattern. I shortened the length of it to fall just below the elbow, but next dress I'll more than likely make the sleeves just above the elbow. There are a ton of gathers at the top where the shoulder is, and if I were to make adjustments I would either pleat the sleeve into the armscye or make it slimmer so as not to create so much fullness.

So this is how the dress looks. I got to wear it yesterday for a Gold Panning event we had at Latta.

For the drawstring I used a yellow ribbon, and it ties right above the
gathers in the back. 
 And I also got to wear my new bonnet....yay!  Mom found it at a Goodwill for like only a buck, and the ribbon I trimmed it with cost a total of $4.  I trimmed it after doing some research Friday on original bonnet trimmings.
my new bonnet :D

top bow

Bascha and me

My short stays are working beautifully, but my shoulders did start to hurt after a while...wondering if maybe I'm wearing the straps wrong or something.


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