Regency Round Gown – Construction

Long time no seen.
I´ve been living in my bubble for the past couple of months, but I have been creating some small tings while taking a break from blogging.

In the beginning of April, I got into my head that maybe I should join the dance team for one last performance before my time was due.
The recital was a 18th century/Regency themed one, set to April 24 (two weeks from then) – and I had nothing to wear.

You would think I’d be able to use one of my regency dresses (with lots of space for my growing belly), but unfortunately some other parts of me had grown as well (yes I´m talking to you, boobs), and there was no way I could close any of my old dresses.

So, a new one it is…

I’ve long been planing to make a regency/transitional round gown, and this was my chance.
Not only would it be perfect for accommodating my growing belly, but later it would also work as an “easy to access” nursing gown. Perfect!rd10

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I used the pattern from “Cut of Womens clothes” as a guide for the draping and seam placement, and the “Laughing Moon” wrap front spencer pattern for the front bodice foundation.
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As usual I drafted the pattern and made a mock-up.
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Due to my growing belly, I could not use my regency stays, but trusted a modern sports bra to do the work – after all for this project comfort was a priority.

Once happy with the fit, I when’t through my stash and soon found exactly hat I was after – a beautiful flower viscose in different shades of blue. And the almost 2 m of it would be exactly enough to make the dress.
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I cut the lining in a lavender blue satin (also from stash) and began the assembly.IMG_9601

All the seams in the back melts together from the print, but I do like the structure it gives to the bodice non the les.
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Once the back pieces was ready, it was time to get working on the front.IMG_9615Draping the front pattern

Using two gathering treads, I collected and arranged the fabric at the shoulder and under bust seamIMG_9622

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Before and after gathering the width.

Once the basic shape was done I tweaked it a bit by raising the under bust seam and removing a few cm from the neckline.IMG_9630

I stitched the lining using darts for bust shaping, IMG_9609

and basted the lining to the outer fabric.
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Then I added the sleeves and skirt.IMG_9640 The first look at how it might look once done (skirt just basted at this point).

I tried the dress on, and it fitted like a (very soft and unbelievable comfortable) glove.
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IMG_9655Tiny belly showing…
All that remained was to add ties and buttonhole for clouser and to hem the dress.

But before I could take the dress out for a spin (literally) I needed to make myself a skirt to match, to prevent any mishaps in the “underwear showing through the front opening” category.

Said and done.
I cut two widths of the same lavender fabric and stitched them together.
I pleated the top to a waistband, added shoulder straps, clouser and finished it by hemming.

The finished skirt/petticoat:IMG_9661

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The finished dress:IMG_9669

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IMG_9682Back shoulder

IMG_9683Ties in the back

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Sneak a peak from the photoshoot;IMG_6187

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1850s plaid summer dress (Part 1- Skirt)

For the upcoming 1850s “Crinoline day” I decided i needed a new dress (even though I teqnicly have two perfectly functional ones already – Green 1840s and Brown 1850s Paisley)

This time I wanted to focus on the light summer dresses I’ve seen so many examples of lately.

So I picked one of my favourites as my main inspiration and started looking for fabric.07176d121492c50c50ebd7441c72bcd5Main inspiration

And to my surprise I found the perfect one straight away, and it was on sale. Yay! 20150325_080825_resizedIt’s a sheer cotton with the light feel of voile, and a pretty, light plaid pattern with lots of white to make the dress fit for summer.

At the moment I was rushing to finish my “Downton Mary dress“, so I couldn’t comit to the new project straight away, so to get tings moving I decided to start working on the skirt.

I almost used the same simple tequnices as in my sisters 1860s skirt (which I made a month later) – Cuting three skirt lenght of whole fabric widhts, matching the pattern and stitching them togeter to a huge circle.

Then I stsitched two rows of gthering stistches at the top and pulled to get the right waist measurment. I purpusly used one fabic widht for the front and two for the back, to disturbute the poufiness to the back.

Then I stitched a cotton tape to the gathered waist IMG_6245and turn it under by hand to get a small but sturdy waistband.IMG_6258

I used my dressform to measure and pin the skirt lenght 20150411_142134Trying it out on my dressform

and make sure the back clouser looked good. 20150411_142206_resized

Then I folded, pinned and hemmed the skirt, using 1 cm long heming stitches.IMG_6837

All and all it took about 4 hours and was an evenings welcome break from “Lady Mary”

The finished skirt:IMG_7298

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A couple of photos with the skirt, (not) Gabardi blouse and green bonnet:IMG_4962

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As you can see I also discovered I needed to shorten the skirt about 5-10 cm – great!
Back to the ironing table…

Nexts up: Construction for the dress bodice…

Floral anglaise of satin trouble – construction part 2

When I first realised I needed to cut away the beautiful part of the back, i refused to listen to that part of my brain. But after tedius atempts to fix the back of the bodice and to pleat and re-pleat the skirt in the right way, I grabbed the sissors.

Two cuts and it was done, and I was relieved to find that the pleating of the skirt went so much easier.

I pleated the skirt to the bodice and left two pocket slits at the sides when I sewed the skirt together. Once again things seemed to run on wheels, so I decided to cut out the petticoat after all. The sewing and pleating went so fast and easy that I finished it in no time.

Then it was time for another try-on.

I got help from my sister Elin to put the sleeves in the right position and to check the lenght of the skirt and petticoat.

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This time the back looked pretty good – I just needed to rise the waist a little more (I will have to live with the remaning wrinkles).

We decided that the skirt needed to be lengthen in the back – this meant I would have to piece the hem with stripes of fabric to get some extra length. And this was when the problem started again…

Of course I was out of fabric – all I had left was some small pieces for decoration and trimming.

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The only way to fix the 8 centimeters too short skirt was to take some fabric from the petticoat. I already had a 50 cm “patch” in the back, due to lack of fabric. So this time I had to cut away two 10 cm pieces on the horisontal of the skirt, and then re-pleat the petticoat to the waistband.

Then it was time to deal with the sleaves. To get the right 18th century look, and to save myself some trouble with getting the sleeve-cap in the sewing machine, I decided to handstitch the sleeves in place. When that was done all I needed to do was to put the shoulder piece over the sleeve-cap and hand stitch them down.

The only thing left to finish the dress was to put some trimming on it.

This proved more difficult and time consuming then I had anticipated. I cut stripes of the few pieces of fabric I had left and sewed them together in to one 4 m stripe. Then I had to hem the stripes both sides by hand (all 8 m), and then go on to pleat and baste it all down. Then at last I could attach the trim to the gown.

Well here it is – the finished dress. After all the trouble and setbacks I still really like this dress and feel pretty comfortable wearing it. I may even have to invent a reason to wear it.

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Floral Anglaise of satin trouble… construction

When I learnt about the 9th challenge in the “HSF” I immediatly knew what I wanted to make. A Robe a l’anglaise – and I even had the perfect fabric.

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A beautiful flowery satin that I bought on sale a couple of months ago, and which just waited to be made in to a pretty gown.

I wilfully ignored that the fabric label said 100 % polyester. This fabric had to be a beautiful dress.

I even had just the right dress pattern for the fabric. From Janet Arnolds “Patterns of Fashion 1”.

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The simple aesthetics of this dress is just lovely, and I felt confident that I was skilled enough to make this one happen.

So I went for it.

I put my corset on my dressform and started to drape. It felt so simple and worked so perfectly that within an hour I had a bodice on the form and a mock up on the way.

Everything fit surprisingly well – this was after all my first real attempt at draping (if you don’t count a few simple school projects). I spread the fabric on the floor and started to cut.  And this was where things started to go bad…

Firstly I realized I din’t have enough fabric for a petticoat, and I really wanted a matching one. I decided to put a hold on cutting the petticoat until the dress was done, and I knew for sure i wouldn’t need any more fabric.

Then the damn satin wouldn’t lie still and started to ripple in every corner leaving shreads of fabric everywhere. I tried to cover the raw edges with overlock, but that ended up shreading of as well. The only solution was to sew quickly. And to handsew all the edges in the skirt.

I somehow managed to put the bodice together for a try on.

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The front looks pretty decent, but the back, the back…

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…is a terrible wrinkly mess!

I had to re-do all the pleatings on the back and very carefully handstitch it down again – this time I interlined the satin with some cotton sheets.

I also had to rise the waistline quite a bit in the sides and back, to get rid of some of the exess wrinkles there. It was somewhere around this time in the process that I started to realise I had to let the Forreau* back go…

*Forreau style back is when you cut the backpiece in one with the skirt, and pleat it so the back is one unbroken line from shoulder to hem.