Monday, December 1, 2014

• Regency Calico Gown •

Amidst the stress and involvement of my 1860s Christmas dress, I was starting to get a little overwhelmed, so I decided to save this half-done regency gown from the terrors of UFO-land. I had started this dress months ago, but decided part way through the assembly of the bodice that I wanted to do something a little different.

When our local fabric store got this beautiful print in, I bought a yard of it for an apron, but realized soon after that it would make a gorgeous dress. I went back the very next week, and the basically-full-bolt had shrunk down to five yards. I snapped those up instantly, as you might imagine. It is one of those tiny-print fabrics that is irresistible to me.

I used the Simplicity 4055 pattern, like my last regency dress, but I cut the neckline three inches lower so that it would be compatible with a chemisette. The bodice closes with a drawstring at the neck and the waist. This dress screams for undersleeves, which I have partially made, but they are dangerously close to UFO-land at the moment. I sewed the buttons on too close to the top of the undersleeves, apparently, because they gape dreadfully between each button. *sigh* Does anyone have an amazing way to make undersleeves fit right?

I am always in a pinch when it comes to hairstyles, so I was glad to try my hand at a turban. I didn't have much luck at first, but then I read what Lily said about tying a turban; willy-nilly. It worked! Whether I can ever do it again or not.....who knows.

I found the lace for this dress at our favorite antique store, never realizing that it matched so well until this past weekend. That was truly a thrilling moment!

Well, now it is back to work on the ol' 1860s gown! I still have to bind the neck, put in buttons, finish the cuffs, sew in hook-and-eye tape (cheater...), and sew on the ruffles. (And sew a belt). But I'm coming right along, and the hardest part is out of the way.

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  1. I love small prints too! The lace at the hem is so pretty. Beautiful job! : )


    1. Thank you, Sarah!! Small prints are pretty much my favorite! :)

  2. This looks great! So glad you were able to rescue it from UFO-land.

  3. You look gorgeous! I love the simplicity of the whole outfit, and you look just as if you stepped out of a Jane Austen themed movie! Lovely!

  4. I'm a bit late commenting on this one....

    Your fabric choice is quite sweet and looks nice as a regency dress. :-)

    I'm wondering if maybe part of your undersleeve dilemma is the fit of your sleeve bands. I'm thinking you might have less gaping if you make the band a closer fit? My other suggestion would be more buttons. Also maybe your sleeve band needs to be wider? The only dress I made removable sleeves for had slightly wider bands, although I don't know all the ins-and-outs and helpful tips regarding undersleeves. :-)

    1. Thanks, Lily!! :)
      Eehhh...I was afraid of that. You're right, I definitely need to make new sleeve bands. They are so narrow that the tiny buttons won't button into them without alot of trouble and frustration. Thanks for the helpful hints!! I think I will definitely do that! I need a wintry regency dress, especially since I gave away my spencer jacket!! :)


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