“Janet” A Regency Daydress – Construction

In may I heard that “Romantic Recollection” Started a Regency challenge where you were to make something from the Regency period and then embellish it with some kind of embroidery during the course of may-June.

And as I’m always up for challenges and reasons to try new things I decided to join.

After some thoughts I decided to push myself to make a dess i’ve been thinking about for quite some time but never goten round to make.

The 1800s Apron/dropfront daydress from the Snowhill Manor Collection and Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion” (thats also where this dress got its name).  love the detailed drawings of it’s construction and the enlarged detail of the fabric pattern made me think of something I my stash. Remember this fabric?I’ts what I used for my 1825s Biedemier ball gown

You might aslo recall my disappointment when discovering the back of the bedsheet was white instead of purple.Something that turned out just perfect for this dress 😀

After carefully cutting the les then 2 m of fabric, I started by stitching the pin-tucks on the front flap. 

Then I assembled the bodice and stitched it to the skirt. With the front down.

Then I stitched together the sleeves and added them to the dress.  lastly I made and attached strips of fabric for tying and a small pad for the back to hold out the skirt

The finished dress:   

Just the facts:

Challenge: Romantic Recollections “Regency summer challenge”

What: a 1798 – 1800s Regency dress

Pattern: I used a mixture of “Simplicity …” and my own draft based on Arnolds pattern diagram för the Snowhill Manor daydress.

Fabric & notions: 1/5 a beedsheet, 0.5 m white cotton and thread.

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The print’s not period but the fabric and the look of it is good, and even though it made mostly by machine all the finishing are made by hand. So maybe 8/10.

Time & cost: About 10 hours and 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final thoughts: I really like this dress  and it makes me quite happy. The only thing I would change is to fix the front slits which now stands away a little from the body.

The Start of a war – Downton Mary’s Striped Dress (part 2)

I’ve been working on my entry for the HSM15 nr 4 – War & peace for the past week (Part 1), and here are the rest of my viral dress diary:
0x600Lady Mary in one of her signature dresses from the Tv-series “Downton Abby”.

Once the bodice was finished and lined I attached it to the skirt, set the sleeves I once more tried it on to determent the exact placement of the hook and bars for the skirt closure.
I also pinned on the collar to get a better visual of the completed look.
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The fit looks good even though it’s more figure hugging and shaped then the one on Lady Mary.
(I’m pretty sure the actress have a completely different body then mine…)

Then I needed to pause the sewing for a few days over the May 1st celebration, so I put it on the dress form to keep me inspired (and to show of to our long distance friends coming over – don’t tell me you never done that…).
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Once back at sewing, I pinned some narrow lace ribbons to the buttonhole stand and top front piece.20150501_225246Then I spent a few hours (at my in-laws) hand stitching the narrow lace, the collar, the lining, the black velvet ribbon and the hooks and bars to the bodice.20150501_225316

The Finished Dress:IMG_6516












Just the Facts:

Challenge: HSM15 nr 4 – War and Peace

What: A 1914s striped summer dress

How it fit the challenge: WWI started in summer 2014.
My dress is also a re-creation of the dress Lady Mary Crawley wears in the TV-series “Downton Abby”, in the episodes (and at the garden party) it’s  announced that England will join the war.

Pattern: None, I drafted my own with influences from a small sketch in Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion 2”

Fabric: 2,5 m of striped cotton, and 0,5 m white cotton for lining – both leftovers from previous projects.

Notions: Thread, buttonhole tread, 6 buttons, 2 pairs of hooks and eyes, 6 snaps, 0,5 m of narrow lace, 1 m black velvet ribbon, one extra long lace/crocheted collar.

How historical accurate: Not sure. I used modern techniques with lots of hand finishing. The fabric wold have existed in the period, but I think the slim silhouette are a bit to modern. Perhaps 5/10.

Time: About 15-20 hours. Lots of fiddling with both the fit and matching the stripes made this project a bit more time consuming then I expected.

Cost: About 250 Sek (40Usd) all fabric from stash – Bought on sale a few years ago.

First Worn: May 3 for photos.

Final Thoughts: I really like this dress. It came out exactly like I envisioned and I felt really pretty (and posh) in it.
I’m really happy with the decision to make the dress slim and figure hugging (contrary to the original which have a more straight shape) even though it diverts a bit from the fashion of the day.
But there are as always a few thing I would like to fix before wearing it again: The back bodice are still to long (what’s that about?) and the button holes need to be stitched shut about 2 mm each (those buttons needs to remain closed next time around).


IMG_6547Accessorized and ready for a photoshoot.

Embelish a 16th century Shirt

I knew I wanted to push my bounderys with the 4th HSF Challenge: Embelishment, last spring.

Since I’m not much for the over-the-top, decorated things, I decided to make something quite stylished yet advanced.

I’ve been wanting to make one of these shirts, decorated with an embrodery technique called blackwork, for a long time. And this seamed to be the time to make it.



I used Janet Arnolds “Patterns of Fashion nr 1” as a reference.img303

And designed my pattern of flowers and shapes.img303 - Kopia

I drew a design of 3 diferent flower/animal shapes and traced them to the sheer linen fabric. Then I used a heawy buttonhole thread to work the embrodery.

I knew it would take some time to embroder the shirt, but I was shocked to discover exactly HOW slow it went. Each little flower took about 45-55 min and each row of rick-rack took 2 hours.

This slow paste made me change the original plan of embroder the whole shirt, to only doing the cuffs, collar, neck border and rick-rack on the seams.

Sadly I seem to have lost all my in progress shoots, but here are some of the finished shirt.

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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 4 Emelishment.

What: A 1550-1600s shirt.

Pattern: Janet Arnolds “Patterns of Fashion nr 1”

Fabric: 1,5m of sheer soft linnen.

Notions: white sewing thread, 2 spols of brown buttonhole thread and 4 buttons.

How historical accurate: Pretty good, except the terrible quality of my stiching, and the fact that it will be worn by a woman. But it is totaly hand sewn and have the right look of it. So mabe 7/10.

Time: (Way to long) About 100 hours.

Cost: about 100 Sek (11Usd)

Fist worn: For a photoshoot in mars 2013.

Robes and Robings

I bought this blue and white striped cotton for 15 Sek/m a while back, and since it was the last 2,5m on the bolt I decided it would make a perfect 18th or 19th century jacket.


So when the 17th HSF challenge was announced as – Robes and Robings, it was the perfect opportunity to use the fabric.

“And what are robings?  They were also called robins and round robins.  Basically they are the trimming round the neck and down the front of 18th and early 19th century gowns and pelisses.” quote from the Dreamstress in her annoncement of the challenge.

As usual I started with some inspirations pictures.



Kyoto red stripe(quite a pink-orama)

As pattern for the jacket I turned to Janet Arnold, and her beautiful 1750s pet-en-l’aire (jacket).

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So I put the corset and pocket-hoops on my dressform and started to drape a pattern.



Then I removed it, sewed and tried it on as a mock-up.



After a few alterations it was time to cut the fabric.

IMG_0826 left and right sides being cut separatly so to mach the stipes perfectly.

I used plain white cotton as lining, and started the handsewing by working the eyelets into the back of the linning.


I basted the lining to the striped fabric as a interlining.

Now it was time to arrange the backpleats. Something that took a bit of time and carefull forcing of the fabric.

Then everything went pretty fast, and I sewed the shoulders, the hip-pleats and the side seams. And I tried it on for further adjustments.

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I needed to make a few alterations and then I continued by folding and hemming the layers seperatly, and cut and turned under all the seam-allowences. I attached the sleeves and made the elbow flounce.

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I’m a bit worried by the wrinkles in the waist. I had hoped to be able to make the jacket without a waist seam. But I had to give in to the wrinkles and decided to sew them down as they lay, creating a false seam.

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I draped the stomacher straight to the body when wearing the jacket, to get the opening and sizing right. I cut the stomacher in two parts, who closes at center front by hooks and eyes.

The hole jacket are compleatly handsewn and I’m very proud of it. I used up every single piece of the fabric and manadge to only piece it in one place – the left sleeve flounce.

And thisweekend me and my sister had a photoshoot of the jacket paired with the separate skirt, that I will show you pictures of in my next post.

Some finished pictures on the dressform.









Just the facts:

Challenge 17. Robe and Robbings

What: A pet-en-l’air (Jacket)

Year: 1745-1755.

Pattern: Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fahsion 1” A pet-en-l’air

Fabric: 2,5 m of striped cotton, and 2,5 m white cotton-sheet for lining.

Notions: Thread, hooks and eyes, lacing cord, plastic boning for the stomacher and lacing.

How historical accurate: My closest yet. Compleatly handsewn with period stiching, pattern and cutting methods. I’d say about 90%.

Time: 25 hours

Cost: 100 Sek (11USD)

First worn: On the photoshoot mid sep.