Saturday, 19 March 2016

Simple non-accurate regency gown

After the 16th century shift I felt that I needed something simple and something that didn't involve too much handsewing. Just sitting down by the sewing machine and relax with a quick project. The result was what I call a fake regency gown.

The background is that 1,5 years ago I made this gown to use for our dramatized tours in the mine.
While I was happy with craftmanship of it, I had miscalculated the bodice and it's quite a large dress. The waist is also more 1830's than 1812, the year that the dramatized tour take place. Since I made the dress it has gotten a lot of use and wear and I felt that it was time to make Another one. This time I wanted to make it smaller, and also raise the waist to a more regency-like silhouette.

In order to function as a dress for the tours it needs to meet some specifications. It need to be easily adjustable, since it's going to be worn by a lot of different shaped women. The temperature in the mine is around 7 C, like in a fridge, so it needs to be big enough to wear a layer or two under it. It's also necessary to be able to get in and out of the dress in a minute or so.

This dress is the result. It fits me, but with bordering on tight sleeves, when I'm wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt under it, so it should be no problem for people wanting to wear more layers.

For the bodice pattern I used the pattern that I made for my gaulle, but I cut off 10 cm from the waist. I also enlarged the front piece and back pieces. The front is on fold, so simply placed the pattern 10 cm from the fold, and for the back pieces I did the same with placing them 10 cm from the center back seam. I did not change the side pieces. The neckline needs to be high, since nobody is going to wear stays, but rather modern t-shirts/shirts under that need to be hidden. For simplicity I opted for a drawstring neckline.

I sewed the bodice together, added the skirt which is simply a tube of 3 m of fabric that's been gathered and added a drawstring to the waist. The sleeves are my basic 2-piece pattern, it's adapted from TV493. I've set the sleeves so that the centre of the undersleeve meets the side seam, and they fit really well to the armscye, even if they are from the different patterns. They only needed a small boxpleat at the top. With more care I could probably have eased the sleeves in without any pleats at all.

All in all the project was a simple drawstring regency gown, not particularly accurate, but with an apron and neckerchief it will look good enough.

Regency in general is not my favorite era, but when I tried this gown on myself I got tempted to make a drawstring dress for myself. Here are some points I would change though.
1. I would make the back totally fitted, and only enlarge the front piece of the bodice.
2. I would make the skirt without gathers in the front, and with pleats in the back. The fullness of the skirt in front makes me feel like I'm wearing maternity wear. A lighter fabric, and less of it would make it look beeter, I think.
3. A deepter neckline, of course.

I don't have any plans for a regency dress at the moment, but at least now I know where I would start if I want to make one, or a new gaulle but with drawstring instead of a drop front.

No comments:

Post a Comment