1797 Silk Transition Gown

I made this silk over-gown for Lady Nora of Baronet’s Daughter Designs (she made the white gown beneath) for a 12th Night Soireeé a fe years ago. Very fun event! I had a night to make this gown, including drafting a pattern. It’s based on a fashion plate found on page 44 of Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion. It crosses over in the front, and closes with a pin. Just plain pins that we use to pin pieces of fabric together was a common method of closure in that era! One side is longer in front while the other is shorter and pleated. The biggest change, aside from color and trim, is sleeve length. This gown has a short little train. The party wouldn’t have been a good place for a longer train. The gold trim gives it a regal feel.

More photos are in this Facebook album.

Blue silk regency robe

Sometimes I am sent the most beautiful fabrics and trims to work with, and this is no exception!  Kat sent this gorgeous blue silk and the trim, and asked for a regency robe to wear for a sailing event. Here is the result! I’m not sure that there’s much to say aside from the bodice is lined in cotton, and the skirt is box-pleated. The center back is double-box pleated for more fullness while keeping a slim silhouette. By request, the pleats on the sleeves were moved to the top instead of the period-correct location of toward the back. The gold gown under it is one of mine, and it for the photos only. It looks so much better than just putting the robe on the dress form.

More photos?  Of course.  Here, in this Facebook album.

Dotted Linen Regency Gown

Sheer, gauzy dotten linen, light and flowy.  The tucks on the skirt have pastel 1″ ribbon running through them, as do the sleeves and waist, and a narrower white ribbon closes the neckline. The yellow can be switched out for a different color. This was a a very narrow fabric, and took some tricksy work to avoid vertical seams all over the skirt. 🙂 Because the fabric is so delicate, all seams but one are French seams, and all are reinforced with extra rows of stitching. This is a NorAria Designs gown, bodice pieces cut by Lady Jersey, the sleeves and skirt and all sewing by yours truly.

More photos are in this Facebook album.

 

 

  

Cotton Indian-print regency gown

Another regency gown! This one is made from a delicate, slightly sheer cotton and closes with a drawstring at waist and neckline. The ribbon sash is just tied on. I have tons more of this fabric! Due to the border print, this gown is limited in length, and for most wearers, would be dancing length.

Silk Taffeta Van Dyke Gown

This gown is entirely hand-sewn, every last stitch! I made this gown out of silk taffeta. While my mock-up was closer to the original gown, I wanted this one to appear slimmer from the front and to have a more fitted bodice.

The original is in the Greene Collection at the Genesee Country Village & Museum. Known information is that the skirt has three panels with slight gathering on the front and pleating in the back. The sleeves and bodice top each have two tucks. The wonderful pointed cap sleeves have what would have been white silk ribbon bows. The sleeves are long enough that they would have to be pushed up on the arms to use the hands. I’m not sure what’s going on on the bottom, if that’s trim or discoloration, but I made tucks, and closed this gown with buttons. Buttons weren’t common, but I used them anyway.

The VanDyke points around the neckline have been used a lot on old quilts. It’s the same technique, and it’s lovely. I’ve matched these details in this replica. This gown has the same tucks on the sleeves and neck, the same number of Van Dyke points across the front, and four tucks on the bottom. The long under-sleeves are detachable so this can be worn as a ball gown!

More photos are in this Facebook album.

Rainbow Dash

 

This dress was inspired by the My Little Pony character, Rainbow Dash. Dashy is a blue pony with a rainbow mane. Made of a polished blue cotton in regency styling, this dress takes an un-regency twist with a rainbow of buttons down the back. The sash can be tacked at the sides or left loose. The hair ribbon is on a spring-pin and is included. Every little one who loves her favorite pony needs something for her hair! Each pony will have a dress.

More photos are in this Facebook album.

Regency Peacock Sari Ballgown

I made this gown from an Indian silk sari featuring India’s national bird.

The split overskirt and bodice are entirely from the sari, and the back of the underskirt is added fabric. Saris are available in set lengths. The slate overskirt has a sweep train and is tightly gathered in the back few inches. The underskirt has a larger circumference and is pleated to allow for the movement of dance without adding bulk.

The gold edging has a green glass bead in the center of each tail, a blue glass in each eye, and gold balls in each diamond closer to the edge. The bodice center panel is made from strips of the edge with the same beading, and the skirt center panel has a glass blue bead for each eye. The directions of the edging mirror each other. This gown closes in back with hooks and eyes.

More photos are in this Facebook album.

Van Dyke Regency gown, blue

This was the mock-up of an extant gown I planned to replicate by hand (and later did). A mock-up is a tester used to check the fit. I happened to have many yards of silk dupioni laying around and decided to use it for my mock-up and to sew it by hand as well. Well, it came out nice enough that this is a bonus gown not really fit to be called a mock-up. 🙂

The original, which is the green one on the right, is in the Greene Collection at the Genesee Country Village & Museum. Known information is that the skirt has three panels with slight gathering on the front and pleating in the back. The sleeves and bodice top each have two tucks. The wonderful pointed cap sleeves have what would have been white silk ribbon bows. The sleeves are long enough that they would have to be pushed up on the arms to use the hands. I’m not sure what’s going on on the bottom, if that’s trim or discoloration, but I made tucks, and closed this gown with buttons. Buttons weren’t common, but I used them anyway. The VanDyke points around the neckline have been used a lot on old quilts. It’s the same technique, and it’s lovely. I’ve matched these details in this blue silk mock-up/replica. It was a lot of fun to wear!

More photos are in this Facebook album.

Sari regency gown

Once again I had to miss the Oregon Regency Society/Washington Regency Society annual retreat, but once again I have gowns there instead. 🙂 I took over this gown when Nora was drowning. It happens to us all from time to time, especially when an unexpected move happens, as it did for her as well as for me. I received this with a couple pieces on the bodice seamed, but otherwise in pieces, mostly one big uncut piece.

In regency circles vintage silk saris are very popular. Ladies in the regency era loved them too. Unlike then, regency saris are fairly affordable now thanks to, according to an Indian friend of mine, a strong cultural desire to stay with current fashions in India. Vintage saris are no longer fashionable there, but are still very beautiful and so sold to people in other countries.

Saris require some creativity. Since the quantity of fabric is limited generally to no more than six yards, sometimes less, and the decorations on it can be done in numerous ways, making the most of any beading, embroidery, etc., can be tricky. It’s just not the same as buying six yards of another fabric and embellishing it afterward. It’s also tricker to make sari gowns for us ladies over 5’6″ or so due to the width. But it can be done.

This sari had an end that was eggplant with embroidery and beading that became the bodice, and part of an edge the sleeves. The other narrow end had a narrower decorating strip. To preserve that strip, I made the skirt a cross-over skirt. No sense in cutting that pretty piece off. Originally I had added bias strips of gold silk dupioni to the bottom to make it a little longer, and used the same silk to bind the neckline. But the silk was too stiff in the end and took away the swingy flowiness of the skirt. So off it came, a tricky feat when dealing with the sheer silk chiffon of the sari, and I rebound the neckline with a strip I had left of the olive. The sash is just a remnant of the dupioni pinned on.

More photos are in this Facebook album.