venerdì 14 ottobre 2016

Cotton Regency dress: the blue dress from MoMu

Updates at 10/10/2016: I finished this dress, at last! It turned out beautifully. I added a black linen sash to make it more accurate. I wore it last Sunday during a Napoleonic event in Stupinigi and it was a success: it was warm (the day was cold and almost rainy), comfortable and bright! Despite being a day dress is was really colorful and the public noticed it in the crowd.
Below, here we have some photos of the finished dress.

More photos of the event will come in the next weeks!

Hi everyone! I've been so busy in the past month I couldn't write new posts BUT we have something new to talk about. Lot of things happened here so let's get started. 
A local group invited me to join a Regency event and I was really enthusiast since I didn't have new events planned for the season. Despite this I immediately realized I had to work hard to prepare a good outfit that had to be easy to sew, fast to finish, good looking and, obviously, historically accurate. A challenge, but I could do that.
I'm new into Regency costuming so I had to do lot of research before starting to think to my own garment. I had a nice blue cotton in my stash so I decided to save money and use what I already have; I spent several hours on Pinterest looking at extant gowns and faithful reproduction and I immediately fell in love with this blue silk dress from MOMU in Antwerpen. 

The caption states the dress is dated from 1800 to 1805 with cotton and linen parts. Unfortunately I couldn't translate the rest.  

I had everything, the same shade of blue for the dress and lightweight white cotton for the fichu so I didn't waste my time and started to work on that. I wanted my dress to be simple and versatile so I decided to use drawstrings as closure instead of buttons (you can find a good article about Regency dresses closures on Historical Sewing). I drafted the pattern by myself using my Simplicity pattern #8399 as reference. You could ask why I used a Titanic (so Edwardian) inspired pattern to make a Regency dress. Well, the answer is simple: the Titanic inspired pattern has more a Regency line than a slender, Edwardian look, and you can figure it out just looking at bodice and skirt pattern. The skirt is really puff at the back while it should be tighter and without fullness. 

I used two pieces for the bodice and skirt. Since I don't like short sleeved dresses I drafted my sleeves to be elbow length. The bodice is lined in cotton with contrasting blue piping at side seams; the lining has been stitched to the skirt seam for a neat finishing on the inside. I sewn the drawstring channel by hand using blue bias tape and simple running stitches. The skirt is hand gathered at waist at front and back.
The curved sleeves of the original dress are typical of the late 18th century; mine are straight and reach the mid of my forearm. 

I used a temporary sash with bias tape. 
Every hem has been hand sewn for an accurate look. The fichu is made of white cotton and is entirely hand sewn with slip-stitches. 

The dress was finished in a couple of days (I would say 3) but being in July I faced the truth: my cotton was too heavy to be worn in the summer heat (the event was on July 31st...) with chemise, petticoat and stays underneath. I was really disappointed but I preferred to save my health and go to shop for another fabric. So sad...

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