Thursday, January 24, 2013

HSF #1: Regency ball gown

The challenge: ". . . to sew something that would have been worn in  __13, whether it be 1913, 1613, or 13BC".

I chose to do an evening gown from the regency. It is actually a UFO that I started last spring and didn't finish in time for the event. Previous work got me as far as having the under dress cut out.

Fabric: the under dress is made of a sagey green poly satin from the stash. At one point I think I had close to 20yds of this stuff and this dress is likely the last full size project I will get out of the fabric as I am now down to about a yard. The over dress is an embroidered silk chiffon that came from one of my favorite sellers in the LA Garment district, it just spoke to me and i had to have it, at the time i didnt even know what i was going to use it for. I bought 5yds originally and this project used just under four, so I have some to spare :)

Pattern: the body of the dress came from Butterwick pattern 6630.The sleeves I drafted in myself as I didn't want a puffy sleeve. The over dress came from Butterwick pattern 4890though with heavy modifications to the front so it would meet in the middle and drape away low, also I shortened the train a good foot as trains always make me nervous and would hate to ruin the dress by having it stepped on, as the silk is fragile to a degree.

Year: per the challenge it's 1813 ish :) I was copying this fashion plate:

Notions: hooks and eyes for the back closure but I might take those out later and have it lace closed as I trust lacing more when dancing. Even when alternating direction on hooks and eyes they can still slip. Also there a little pearl buttons to close the front of the dress where it meets. 

The trim at the edges is just wavy cut fabric, it's okay, and looks nice at a distance but is not what I had in my head so it will likely get removed and replaced when I find what's in my head ;)

How accurate: I give this one 4 or 5 out of 10, the patterns were definitely not historically accurate but the resulting shape is. Also the under dress fabric content is not correct nor is the embroidery on the silk, having been done by machine. And most of the ensemble was machine sewn. But I feel it is a good match to the inspiration fashion plate so it gets good points there. 

Hours to complete: 20-23 hours. The hand sewing took me a long time as did messing around with the skirt of the over dress to get it to layout like I wanted.

Total cost: stash fabric and notions are hard to calculate but I remember the silk being $25 a yard and about four yards went into this project so something like $100+. 

First worn: this dress has not been worn yet and likely won't be worn for quite a few months, as I think the nearest Regency ball is this summer, as we can't make the Jane Austin evening happening this weekend.

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