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.

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