Dec 21, 2014

Blue Regency Ball Gown

I finished my blue regency silk satin and lace gown just in time to wear it to our Christmas Carol Ball last night. The simple dress theme was "Christmas" so John and I went as merrymakers from Mr Fezziwig's Party.


Dec 13, 2014

Special discount offer to Jane Austen Festival Australia 10-12 April 2015

Dec 11, 2014

Regency Court Trains

Some time ago I fell in love with Josephine Bonaparte's court train and wanted to make one for myself. I held off because it is so impractical and I cannot wear it for dancing.

Consecration of the Emperor and the Coronation by Jacques Louis David 
I found an embroidery design I liked and had a version of it digitised, and then embroidered on a two metre piece of cotton velvet. Yesterday it was lined and pinned onto my mannequin - ready for me to plan the next step - the back. Will I give it a back or will I simply sew straps over the shoulders?

My half-finished court train in my sewing studio.
I have lined it with white cotton sateen and used a metallic gold to pipe the edges.

Some reference pictures of my options:

Small back with shoulder straps, 1808.

Backs - these could be called 'robes' instead of trains.
Back view, 1809

MET Museum, 1809

Nov 23, 2014

Sleeveless bodices in the regency period

Every now and then I see a movie gown from the regency period that looks too modern and wonder how much artistic licence the designer has taken. Now that I have access to pinterest I am finding out so much more about regency garments and together with the wonderful regency/napoleonic/empire costuming community on Facebook I am realising that many of these garments are fairly accurate.

One such garment is a sleeveless bodice or sleeveless spencer, and today while searching online I found a pattern for one, though you could just alter a bodice pattern from a gown or spencer.
According to the source at http://www.digitaltmuseum.no/011023191287/?query=kjoleliv&page=4&pos=93&count=526












I have been putting together a folder of images of these sleeveless garments at http://www.pinterest.com/aylwen/regency-sleeveless-bodice/. Some prints below give a good idea that this was not an uncommon garment, and is a relatively inexpensive option to update a regency gown for a new event or to change the look of a gown when attending a few events in one day.








Nov 16, 2014

Regency Neck Ruffs

Regency-era neck ruffs are also called lace ruffs or frills; neck frills; double frills of worked muslin; fraise; cherusse and betsies. 

 

...Petticoat of worked muslin...Spencer of dark blue cloth, edged with scarlet. Ruff of white lace round the neck. Plain muslin handkerchief. York tan gloves.

March 1794, Gallery of Fashion. Morning dress

Lady Elgin wearing a fraise over a chemisette, 1804, by François Gérard

Countess Therese Czernin (1798-1896), drawn in 1819

Walking Dress: Ladies' Monthly Museum, August 1815:
Robe of Jaconet Muslin or Fine Cambric, made high in the neck; the back and sleeves made very full; a double Frill of worked muslin round the neck; bottom of the robe to correspond”

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (2 January 1783 – 22 July 1853)
Portrait of Anna Maria Magnani
Oil on canvas, 1814 31 × 22 cm
The Hirschsprung Collection, Art museum, Copenhagen, Denmark



Fiche-guimpe, 1810
My Sewing Experiments

This was a neck ruff that I taught for a Regency Neck Ruff workshop at Jane Austen Festival Australia in April 2012. I used a sturdy cotton and did not teach whip stitch gathering as shown in examples below because we only had a short time to teach the fundamentals and get everyone sewing. In 2015 I'm hoping to teach a more involved workshop with whipstitch gathering and fine muslin.





Extant Examples

Since this workshop I have found more extant examples to base my work on. There is a neck frill documented in Nancy Bradfield's Costume in Detail, page 83.

National Trust Inventory Number 1350308

This one has a linen centre and a tiny bobbin lace decoration, ‘typical of the trimming laces of the very early19th Century’ The Lace Mentor. Found at http://www.poppiescottage.com/products-page/the-accessories-department/


Sep 3, 2014

1809 Redingote update

My faux fur coat arrived and I'm feeling really guilty using it for applique, particularly as its a vintage coat that someone could wear. The silk velvet is gorgeous to touch and it really looks like fur.

After I've unpicked the lining
Close up of button area - maybe I'll use this part for the triangle shapes.

Playing with shapes.
Just needed to see this image from page 84 of the 1916 edition of http://amzn.to/1wYT1KO and I'm on my way to fixing the collar.

Collars...


http://www.metmuseum.org/.../the-collection.../search/107940 has made me think even more - would the trim have been sewn on with modern applique techniques or might it have been piped like the trim is on this garment?

Date: ca. 1818

Sep 1, 2014

1795-1799 Half-Robe

Plans are in the works to make a regency-era half robe.  Out come my two favourite books - Nancy Bradfield's Costumes in Detail and Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1. Both of these books are indispensable to a costumer's collection.

1795-1800 half robe as illustrated in Patterns of Fashion 1.
1799 Half Robe from Costumes in Detail

Underneath the half robe will be a round robe (or round gown) like the one that is presented in Norah Waugh's book, The Cut of Women's Clothes.





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