Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gold Striped Regency Gown

Photo by Gloria from In The Long Run
Like a lot of my ended-up-being-my-favorite projects, this one started mostly by accident.  I bought the fabric, a light, smooth striped cotton, several years ago from Regency Revisited, with no real plan as to what it would become.  I've offered it up for sale a few times during various periods of sewing room cleanout, but it remained stubbornly in my stash each time.


Then the V&A released this photo of a gown in their collections that previously had only had a photo of the back available. As soon as I saw those diagonal stripes on the front, I knew exactly what that fabric needed to become!


I used the Laughing Moon #126 drop-front gown pattern as a jumping-off point (which, to be fair, is how I use most patterns.)  I rotated the dart in the front bib piece so that the waist edge would be smooth and I could put a drawstring at the neck edge.  I ended up having to fudge a sleeve off a different pattern because I could NOT for the life of me find the sleeve piece in my pattern.  (I found it three months later in a perfectly sensible, obvious place, of course.)  I cut my skirt freehand and assembled everything in a period manner, ignoring the instructions almost completely.


The braided trim is extremely simple.  It's three straight-grain strips with the edges pressed under, braided together in a standard three-strand braid.  I love how it was so easy to do, but makes such an impact!


This gown's first wearing was at Jane Austen Festival in Kentucky, where it was H-O-T!  As you can see above, my enthusiasm levels were really excessive.  In all reality I had a lovely time, but it was definitely hard to feel motivated in the heat and humidity.


I also got to wear this gown at Costume College, which was much more hairdo-friendly.  I didn't bring my big bonnet to California with me, but I did add a red coral cross from Dames a la Mode to supplement the coral set that my mom helped me make.  I'm missing one bracelet in the above photo, but the set contains a necklace, earrings, and matching bracelets (and now of course a cross!)  Someday maybe I'll be able to add one of those gorgeous regency tiaras to the set, but until then, I'm super happy with how everything came out and look forward to wearing it again!

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