Sunday, December 29, 2013

Historical Fortnight #26: Celebrate!

The Challenge: Celebrate!
Fabric:Silk dupioni
Pattern:  The redone trims are all my own
Year: 1822
Notions: Lots and lots of reclaimed silk dupioni
How historically accurate is it? ~70% ish. It's machine sewn and all silk dupioni so that knocks a lot of points off. However, the cut is accurate for the time period.
Hours to complete: The dress itself was already made. The retrim was about 5 hours just because I had to yank the old trim off!
First worn: Dec 29th at the Christmas Regency Tea
Total cost: None! Yay!

All the other important stuffs:

For this challenge, I wanted to make something for the annual Christmas Tea. However, I only have a gazillion Regency era dresses and I didn't want to make a new one. Any new Regency dresses are to be hand sewn - this is partly to prevent me from making new ones. ;-) Of course, I do have two hand sewn Regency dresses so you can see how well that's working!

Anyway, rather than making a new dress, I decided to do what any Regency era lady would have done when faced with an upcoming party - retrim your old dress.

This is how my watermelon dress looked after I finished it three years ago.

I was vaguely going for something like this:

But with pink and green. I didn't like the trims I put on the dress pretty much right away but there was little I could do at the time. So, therefore, the dress languished in the back of the closet until last night.

First thing, rip off all the trim and even the sleeves. Originally, I had put a growth pleat into the skirt and stuck the bright pink skirt trim under the growth pleat. This worked and is period but I ripped everything out this time. I then cut the skirt and re-hemmed it properly.

With the massive 8" I had to cut off the skirt, I decided to use that to recreate at least one row of the trim seen in this fashion plate:

From Dames a la Mode

I really love the hem on the fashion plate and it's pink and green too! Woohoo!

So I took the 8" of silk I yanked off the hem of the dress, folded it over and over, drew on it with chalk, and cut it to make it look like trim. 

On the bodice of the dress, I wanted something a little different. I really liked the bodice trim of this extant dress but went a bit simpler. The pink trim is just the old neckline trim, cut in half, and ironed.

Here is the entire finished dress. It's not super trimmed up, but I like how it came out now. I might add some more pink trim to it - I have a ton left from the old pink skirt trim- but it is fine as it is for now. 

A close up of the new skirt trim. I cut some of the old skirt trim into bias tape (about half of it) and used that around the bottom edge. The top edge is just the rest of the old neckline trim plus a small bit extra from the old pink skirt trim. I hope that all makes sense! I reused everything, pretty much, to make this dress go from roughly 1818 to 1822.

A close up of the bodice trim. It's not really that bright. The pink is bright but not hurt your eyes bright. The dress is also very clearly a nice dark green and not the least bit a muted black/green.

I was very happy to get it done in time to wear it to the Christmas Tea. It's not a ball gown, but it is a party dress - perfect for a late afternoon tea.


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