This time – Regency!
This actually took place a week ago, but in the time between I was more focused on my Bombshell swimsuit.
Sarah was on a real roll the week of the Victorian picnic, and wanted to keep the momentum going. So, a few days later we went for a Regency picnic. It was a blustery, blustery day!
My dress is one I made last year for an event related to War of 1812 stuff going on. It is somewhat loosely based off of this dress worn by the character of Jane Bennet in the (iconic) 1995 BBC P&P:
The fabric of the dress is a sheer cotton sari I found at a Goodwill thrift store forever ago. I think it works perfectly for this dress. The trim around the empire waist is a silk satin ribbon, folded over (I’m afraid I can’t remember where it came from, somewhere online). I used scraps of a cream coloured cotton sateen bed sheet for the bodice lining.
With this ensemble I am a walking advertisement for Sense & Sensibility Patterns. For the dress, I used the ‘Elegant Lady’s Closet’ set of patterns, specifically the wrap/crossover bodice dress with elbow-length sleeves. I did have to modify the pattern a fair bit to make it fit well. I don’t remember everything I did, but I do remember that I ended up simply removing the pleats in the bodice front at the shoulder because they simply weren’t working/making sense. I did have to modify the line of the front neckline to accommodate my border print. The pattern has a slightly curving line and I need mine to be straight – not an issue with the pattern itself, just my fabric’s requirements. Oh, and I also changed the skirt from being a proper wrap to being seamed all around, but side closing, because I didn’t have enough fabric for the necessary over & underlap for a wrap skirt (did that make sense?). I used the Regency Underthings pattern for a set of short stays, which I made with only a few small modifications to get the fit right for me. I self-drafted (aka cut a rectangle of fabric) a petticoat. I did add hooks and eyes to the petticoat & stays to hold the one to the other. I’m not quite sure how they made their petticoats stay up at the time (anyone else know??), but I didn’t want to worry and fuss over one that would slide down.
The construction is mostly not accurate. While the actual style lines are good, it’s largely machine sewn. I did some handsewing inside the bodice, but not really of a period correct type. I also used metal snaps to hold the silk satin ribbon waistband across the front and side front of the dress. The sleeve hems are sewn period accurately………and that may be about it.
Similar to the Victorian Picnic photo shoot, we ate first and focused on pictures after – because we were hungry. What we ate isn’t really important. There was a mix of plausible items (cheese, cold meats, veggies) and totally not ones (such as the edible chocolate chip cookie dough I made, yum). So we have a few shots of the picnic, comme ca:
We took a few shots by the trees to the left of my head in the above photo
The spencer is also from a Sense & Sensibility pattern, the Spencer/Pelisse pattern. It’s made from what I’ve decided is a thin silk taffeta that I repurposed from a large bedskirt I found at a thrift store once upon a time. I had used the main amount for this mid-18th century pet en l’air about 4-5 yrs ago. I don’t recall any major issues with this pattern. I probably just made some slight alterations to perfect the fit on me. It is double-breasted on the front with self-fabric-covered buttons – like the dark brown sample on the pattern website page. Oh – but I did add the little peplum on the back there and I do think it adds to the overall appeal. It was really easy, I just drafted a piece the final size & shape I wanted, then extended it to accommodate the pleats. (ok, that’s not a great description, I’ll work on that for the future). I do quite like the little spencer, I think it’s really cute!
And then we went back to the shore!
I don’t entirely know why, but I somehow really like the composition of this photo:
We also noticed a large gazebo/pavilion in the park that seemed to hold some photo possibilities.
By the way, Sarah’s dress is also from a Sense & Sensibility pattern. It’s possibly even the Elegant Lady’s Closet, but the gathered bodice option instead. I helped her out with tweaking the fit of the bodice, but she told me she had a terrible time with the pattern up to that point. Maybe one day I can get her to do a guest post or something on her dress, the specific challenges she had with it & her solutions!
We had a lovely day with lovely (albeit breezy) weather. I think I’m now picnic-ed out for the rest of the month, but may be ready for some more fun like this when the weather starts getting a little cooler (I have an autumn 1880s ensemble to show off! lol).