Sunday, September 12, 2021

New Regency Era Court Gown


Hello! I have been sewing, it's just been a lot of modern stuff until this week! (I got tired of posting all the modern stuff because, well, how many knit dresses do y'all really want to see?)

Since I live in England now, I got to go to the Jane Austen festival finally. It was toned down this year but amazing. I absolutely love Bath and had a great time.

My gown for the ball was the only new gown I made (because I have umm....a lot of Regency gowns? Like....a lot?). I looked through all my fabric and saw this old sari that I didn't have anything in particular planned for. It immediately got snatched out to of the closet and declared to be the fabric for the gown.


I actually used a pattern that I apparently drafted up ten years ago. Eeck! It only needed a couple of minor changes to it at the back (it was slightly too big of all things!). The sleeves for the pattern were a new draft. I used nearly the exact same method as here to recreate a sleeve base from Janet Arnold (one of the early 1800's gowns). For the gauzy sleeve you see, I simply cut the sleeve base in four, expanded the sleeve base out, and played a game of connect the dots. So, the linen undersleeve is the same as the new sleeve base I drafted out but the gauzy sleeve is the expanded one. I gathered the gauzy silk to the linen undersleeve and stitched those together first. I then added the cuff trim to the bottom of the sleeve and then sewed the sleeve up. It made it much easier that way (trying to fit cuffs around the sewing machine is always a nightmare.).

The skirt is just three big rectangles. I cut off the pallu of the sari and made most of that the train for the gown. The train was lined in the same blue silk taffeta I used to make Felicity's Christmas Gown for Carnivale last year. I still have enough of the silk left to maybe make a forepart, line some sleeves, and make a bodice? We'll see!

The "skirt" of the sari I used for the skirt of the dress; I just cut it into two because I wanted an apron front gown. The top of the skirt has a "belt" of the silk taffeta which the gathered bodice piece is attached over.

The bodice itself is an old pattern but, as I mentioned, I modified slightly. Other than taking it in in the back, I also curved the front to have an "open" front - or apron gown- rather than a normal closed front. The two embroidered front pieces are pinned down to the apron front but I might eventually add a gold belt to hold them together.

First Wearing

Honestly? This gown came out a lot better than I expected. I finished it just a couple of hours before the ball. (I brought my sewing machine with me to the hotel!) My mind has been so on 18th Century and Renaissance that I forgot how to do Regency and had to remind myself how to piece together an apron front gown. Once I got to making it, I quickly remembered, thankfully!.

I wore the train over my arm most of the time (like in a lot of court gown fashion plates from the period!) to dance and it was very easy to dance in as well as wear. I didn't have any major issues but might make more petticoats to really puff out the gown.



Although the second isn't a court gown, these were three of my main inspirations.  All are from about 1804-1805.   

I'll probably make another gown like this one and will definitely add some stuff (it needs gold trim around the neckline!) to the new blue court gown I have now!

Friday, June 4, 2021

New Hawaiian Shirt Dress

 For the summer, Friday's at work are now Hawaiian Shirt days!   The problem:  I don't have a Hawaiian Shirt.  Eek!    

The solution:  I happened to have a lovely Hawaiian print cotton I planned to make into a dress anyway.  

With Sew Magazine, I fairly recently received a copy of New Look 6449.

I only had 3 yards of the cotton print and that's all the shirt dress calls for.  Easy!

I think it came out pretty cute.  I did place the shirt pocket a bit too high.  Mea Culpa.  The back yoke ended up being a bit tricky.  The collar wouldn't fit unless I pleated and stitched down the center back of the yoke.  The problem is when I did that, I didn't cut down the neckline itself to force the new lines of the yoke to fit better in the back.  The shoulder "scrunch up" a bit because of that but it's not a huge issue.   

I do like the deep pockets on the dress and the overall fit is good.  I also added a bit more at the skirt (maybe an extra 4" on either side of the front and back pieces) because I wanted a bit more of an a-line look going on.  I wore the dress today with leggings from April Cornell.  It ended up being very comfortable and I'm definitely going to wear the dress again.  

Probably should point out that my favorite aspect of the dress is really the sleeves.  Those little tabs are amazing.  :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Modern Clothing: New Look Pattern 6529/ Red cotton leggings and gray fleece hoodie

Front View
Back View

Hello! Finally mostly settled in my new house and I can start sewing again. Because we are still sort of in Lockdown (we can do day trips tomorrow!!!!), I wanted to make a comfy lazy day outfit. That, and I really need more cotton leggings. :-)

For this outfit, I used New Look 6529. The leggings came out a bit on the loose side but that's fine. I might make them a tiny bit slimmer next time. The tunic neck with the hood is a bit tricky and I messed it up but, well, this is a lazy day outfit and my ability to care is sort of out the window.

Pattern: New Look 6529

Materials: A gray "mystery knit" from last year's Fabric Mart mystery sales.  It turned out to be a lightweight stretch fleece that is just perfect for spring.  

The leggings are out of a red 100% cotton knit.  

Notions: A slight bit of trim to hide the seams in the hood (maybe a yard and a half?), red thread, gray thread, and enough 1 1/2" elastic to go around my waist.  :-)

Time: The leggings were super quick - maybe an hour?  The hard part was waiting for the red thread to come in when I discovered I did not have any red thread.  Blues, greens, pinks, but no red.  All the pattern is is the two legs and, for the waistband, you sew the elastic to the upper outside waistline then fold it in and sew it down.  It's a good "I need leggings now" pattern if you have a lot of knit on hand.

The hoodie took a bit longer.  Maybe two and a half hours?  I'm not sure partly because I had trouble with the hood.  First, I sewed it in the wrong way and then I couldn't get the edges to meet correctly in the front.  I gave up a bit and what you see in the photo is sort of the end state.  Again, this is a lazy day outfit so I'm not trying to make this look perfect - just comfy.  And it is comfy.  :-)

Recommend Pattern?  Yes!!  I'm going to try a couple of the other tunic views and make a few more leggings in different colors.  

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Halloween Outfit: New "Lord of the Rings" styled Elven dress!

Not the best picture but you get an idea of how the dress looks on me, at least. I realized on Thursday night that the reason I was so hesitant to make the Bellatrix LeStrange outfit I had planned on for Halloween was simple - I didn't have all the materials I wanted on hand. I didn't get the hooks and eyes for the leather doublet until Friday afternoon. I never found a good black silk (what the heck? White silk, orange silk, but not black silk anywhere around me?) so making the outfit with "make do" materials wasn't an option.

Instead, I realized I had plenty of stuff to make a Lord of the Rings Elf gown. I wasn't too picky about screen accurate in this case - just something so I would blend in as an extra without anyone noticing. :-) The rose stretch velvet has been in the stash for at least two years. I originally wanted to make a Christmas gown out of it but the style I wanted to do I ended up already have two dresses similar to that... No reason for yet a third dress! The undergown is some silk dupioni I got from one of the Fabric Mart sales. It was $6 a yard with a ten yard limit. :-) I used only maybe 2 1/2 of those yards to make the undergown and the long, pointed sleeves under the chiffon sleeves.

The chiffon sleeves were part of an old dupatta I had to use in sewing stuffs. The top of the sleeve is somewhat fitted and then I just left the rest of the dupatta ends to include all the pretty embroidery.

The pattern for the dress is my own. It's one piece in the front and two pieces in the back. It's actually the pattern I use for loose knit work dresses because it's comfy and looks nice on. I just elongated it for the Halloween dress. I also cut the velvet with a lower neckline. I was going to add trim to the silk and the velvet necklines but I didn't get around to it.

I wore this to a wine tasting (LOL!) and to go grocery shopping on Halloween and I had a lot of people compliment me on the dress. Some people thought I was a "Regina" or Queen while most did get that I was an Elf. :-)

The above is the front of the dress but on the dress form. Since I'm bigger than the dress form, it looks a bit off.

The back of the dress.

The dress, overall, was pretty easy to put together. It was maybe a little over an hour of sewing? Cutting it out took another hour because chiffon sleeves are not an easy cut....

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

12th C Linen Dress

I had a lot of fun with this one. The material is 100% linen I got from Fabric Mart. Orginally, I wanted a nice Norse outfit with it. However, after seeing the material, it demanded to be more a 12th C Bliaut than anything else. Inspiration:
Both the above were taken from here. They are both middle of the 12th Century and I just love the dropped neckline to show the undergown. Patterns: Really, the teal undergown is your basic A-line tunic. The pink overgown, is pretty much a a-line gown with self drafted sleeves. There wasn't much that was complicated about this outfit which is why I love it. I've been wearing it during the online training I've been taking for work because why the heck not? Materials: Linen and thread. That's it! More stuffs: I wish I did have more to say other than it is so terribly comfortable and fun to wear. It's an easy dress up/dress down type of outfit which I love. I might add trim to it but I think it works as is.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

One of my latest facemasks while visiting a 15th C castle in Slovenia


This one is another basic black facemask with a bit of purply magentaish lace edging across the front.  I'm going to make another one with a teal veil next.  I took the picture in the knight's chambers at the Prejama Castle in Slovenia.  The castle itself is pretty amazing.  It's built right into the mountain in front of a large cave system.

You can get into a few of the caverns within the castle.  The audio guide for the castle is next to useless.  Somehow, the guide was insistent that the castle was drafty and cold.  Sorry, but no.  They restored it pretty well and you can see the lovely limewash on the walls that would have prevented most drafts.  That plus all the fireplaces?  It would have been the place to be in the winter.  In the summer, it does stay cool but that's because of the proper air circulation from the river below the castle.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sari made into a 1490's Venetian dress

I made this back in May and forgot to post it.  Self-drafted out of a sari I found at a thrift store last year. Although the paisley pattern on the sari isn't accurate for the late 15th/early 16th c, the sari was too pretty to not be made into something.

The pallu of the sari ended up being the faux underskirt and the gauntlets. The bodice is made from the blouse piece and part of the hem of the original sari skirt. I cut up the sari skirt into five panels - three panels have a "flower" design on them and make up the overskirt fronts and the back of the dress. The plain (it has the hem treatment but not design on the body of it) parts of the skirt became the sides of the gown. The upper part of the skirt had a lovely trim detail that I cut off and made into the trim you see around the open front and around the faux front on the bodice.

It fits really well.  I can't wait for this COVID to be over and I can wear it to an event!