Politic Regency gown

This weeks challenge for the HSF was nr 11 and called “The politics of Fashion”.

Going into this years sewing I already knew I wanted a new regency dress, and since I can’t even look at the sheernes of the empir-gowns without thinking about the french revolution, Napoleon and everything in between, the choise of challenge was an easy one.

For those who don’t know, the style emerged from a mash up of: ladies freeing themself from the restrictive fashions of the 18th century, and the dream of a democratic state most like the one in ancent greece. 1778old-meets-new-french(The fact that the two citys Pompeii and Herculanum was just discovered beneath the ashes of mount Vesuvius, did their part in the sudden cravings for everything greek/roman styled I’m sure).rediscovery_lrg

I also had one other reason for picking this style of dress: I needed to try out some patterns for the regency sewing course I will be hosting this autumn.

So, after some searcing for suatable dress types, patterns and fabrics, I decided on this lovely yet stylistic shape as inspiration for my gown.69313281734961047_9TtejShl_c

Using the Simplicity 4055 pattern. IMG_8293

And a soft light yellow cotton voile I found in my stash.IMG_9226

Since this was my first time using a comercial pattern in about 10 years, and thinking of my would be students, I decided to follow the instructions to the point. IMG_8295Well that didn’t happend, but at least I read them through…

Or rater I did read them, but only after I discovered the back bodice pieces didn’t even come close to match up.IMG_8301After some iritation about “bad constructed comercial patterns” I discovered that the pattern company had included all the seam allowence beforehand. So cutting of my added allowence I sewed the back up – and it matched perfectly. Ops…IMG_8302

Putting that aside, I continued making the mock-up, and tried it on.IMG_8325

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It looked pretty good, and only needed some smaler tweeks.

So on to the fashion fabric. And since I only had about 1,5 m of the voile, I relinquised from the pattern and drafted a slim skirt with only a litle gatering at center back (instead of the large skirt panels originaly recured).

Then I cut the bodice , basted the soft ivory cotton used for interlining to the bodice pieces, and pinned everything togeter.

My ambition was to make the wole dress by hand, so I stiched the skirt, bodice and sleeve pieces togeter and felled all the seams.
I gatered both the skirt waist, the bust draping and basted the puffsleves.

Then I run out of time.

And when I realised, the day before the dance recidal, that I sewed two right back pieces, I gave up and treaded my machine.IMG_9074From there on it went pretty fast.

I sewed he bodice to the lining and set the sleeves. Decorating them with rows of trimming to make them even puffier, and ending them in smal self made bias strips.IMG_9078

I worked some eyelets to the front lining, and stiched a chanal for the gatering-cord on the upper edge of the bodice.IMG_9075Then I attached the skirt to the bodice, put on some hooks and eyes for clouser, cut the lenght and sewed the hem (finishing about 10 minutes before I needed to put it on to be able to go to the recidal).

The Finished dress:IMG_9201

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Sneak a peak from the photoshoot:IMG_9142

Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 11 – The Politics of fashion

What: An early 19th century regency gown.

Politic: The softer style developed in the late 18th century as a reaction to a lots of things:
-The opulance in fashion in the upper class leading up to the french revoultion.
-The introduction of the cheeper, more light weight indian cotton now being avalible to people all over europe.
-And the discovery of Pompeii and Herculaium, creating a dream of the ancient democracy, and a thous new cravings for more draped greecian clothing.
Read more on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1795%E2%80%931820_in_Western_fashion

Pattern: Simplicity 4055 regency gowns.

Fabric: 1,5 m of light yellow cotton voile, 0,3 m of thin ivory cotton for interlining.

Notions: Thread, buttonhole thread, hooks and eyes, 1m of cord and 2 m of decoation trim.

How historical accurate: The pattern are supposed to be from an autentic sorce, but since I adapted it to my likning and fabric measurments I really don’t know anymore. The fabrics and ribbons are right, but since some of it are made on the sewing machine I would say 6/10.

Time: Since such a big part of the dress are sewed by hand, I think the total tally are up to about 15-20 hours. (Made only on machine it wouldn’t have taken more then 6 I think.)

Cost: No more than 100 sek (16 Usd).

First worn: On june 14th at the local dance festival, where my historic dance group did a performance. (picture are comming soon)

Final thoughts: I wished I would have had a bit more fabric for the back gahtering, and also that I would have taken the time to get the bust gatering in the right place (now they are a bit to far at the sides, making the bodice line look a bit bulky). But otherwise I like the it a lot, even though it reminds me of bumblebees a bit with the darer stripes.
And I’m happy that the pattern turned out to work so well.

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6 thoughts on “Politic Regency gown

  1. Oh what a lovely new dress! The pale color is beautiful especially with your choice of trim! I love that color of yellow…so pretty and feminine! Very well done!
    Blessings!
    Gina

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