I saved posting about the actual gown for the Regency Ball so that I could make it my entry for the last Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge of the year, #26: Celebrate!
One of the ‘rules’ of the HSF is that items should not be finished more than about 6 weeks before the challenge due date (I think). This one just made it in being finished a little over 5 weeks beforehand. Even if it hadn’t quite fit in I probably would have cheated and entered it anyway because it was too perfect not too, being made explicitly for a celebration. And not just any celebration, but the commemoration of bicentennial of one of the most influential books on current costume afficiandos: Pride & Prejudice.
I would have preferred more and better photos for this post, but for now the ones we were able to get in the low lighting of the ‘ballroom’ will have to do.
Here are the HSF details:
The Challenge: #26: Celebrate!
The Item: Regency Ballgown (& ensemble) for a ball in honour of the bicentennial of P&P’s first publishing
Fabric: pale blue dupioni (but a very smooth one), silk organza from an Indian shawl, ,
Pattern: I started with Sense and Sensibility’s Elegant Lady’s Closet bodice pattern for the wrap gown and ball sleeves as a base but modified them a great deal and took off from there on my own.
Year: c. 1813
Notions: ivory and gold trim bought in Istanbul, little buttons for the back closure and for the neckline pull-backs at the shoulders, narrow gold trim/thread I braided to trim the front edges of the overlay and the loops at the shoulders, pale blue braid trim (possibly vintage) for around the neckline and sleeve bands.
How historically accurate is it? It’s mostly machine sewn (I didn’t have time to hand-sew it up) with hand-sewn details so big points off for that. And it’s a mish-mash of dates spanning c. 1800 to almost 1820. The trim is made of synthetic fibres too. However, besides that I have to say that I think many a young lady during the Regency period would have been happy to wear this dress so I’ll give myself 70%.
Hours to complete: Quite a lot over 3 weeks
First worn: November 30th to the local Regency Ball
Total cost: All came from stash so no money spent directly on this. I would estimate a total of about $50-$60 thinking back on when I did buy this stuff and the amounts of it I used on the dress.
It was a very windy evening and we were having hair issues to begin with (the rag curls I tried to do didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped) so my hair is not nearly what I wish it to have been, but oh well.