We were very generously given tickets to the American Women's Club of Amsterdam's winter gala, but there were still two things holding us back. I didn't have a dress, and Dan didn't have a suit. Thanks to an early Christmas present from my parents, Dan got a very spiffy suit, so I just needed a dress. This summer I bought some very festive fabric, intending to someday transform it into a Regency gown. The time had come! I was on quite a deadline, but managed to get almost everything done in time (I still have to bind the sleeve seam (but that's inside so nobody sees that), and I may go back and add buttons someday). The gown turned out perfectly, but I do have the new goal of figuring out Regency hair styles, as mine wasn't, well, right. I probably could have used some jewelry too.
The Challenge: Celebrate!
Fabric: This summer I discovered my new favorite fabric store in Chicago- Fishman's! It's not a large store, but had a ton of natural fiber selections, silks in particular. And they had a dusty shelf along the back wall with $5 per yard striped silks. Beautiful, light weight, and crispy. Most of the fabric was a bit garish, or larger plaid patterns suited to the later Victorian era, but there was a gold, maroon, and blue narrow striped fabric that was perfect for regency. It's not my usual color choice, gold doesn't really suit me, but for $5 per yard I couldn't pass it up. So I bought all that was left, I think almost 5 yards. My accent fabric was a gunmetal silk shantung. I went looking to bring out the blue stripe, but the gunmetal, much to my surprise, went beautifully.
Pattern: Skirt was from La Mode Bagatelle, bodice and sleeves were my own creations, based several incarnations ago on the Bagatelle pattern.
Year: I was going for 1817-1818.
Notions: Hooks and eyes for the back closure; I would have preferred buttons but ran out of time.
How historically accurate is it? I hate this question. I think I'm going to follow Festive Attyre and quit answering it.
Hours to complete: Not too many by my standards, the bodice only needed one mock-up, and I remembered a lot of my should-have-done's from my regency wedding dress, but the oversleeves took a while to get right. Maybe only 20?
First worn: The American Women's Club winter gala. I got a lot of compliments on the dress, and looked very regal next to all the modern dresses.
Total cost: $25 for the gold silk (still have a yard left over), $30 (full cost) for 1 meter of the grey (enough left to cover shoes or make a bag). So $55.
|After a long night of dancing (thus the wrinkles)|
|My lovely piping job!|
|I got this shawl in Cologne Germany for $20.|
100% Yak wool from Tibet. And it's much
softer than it sounds!
|And one of Dan in his dapper new suit.|