Monday, 23 January 2012

Pink and White Sleeveless Spencer

When I was 12 my mother bought me a summer nightie. I thought it was absolutely beautiful and I just loved the material -white with pink roses. I loved it so much that I still had it, squirreled away in the back of a draw, over 10 years later! Recently I came across it and decided that it was a waste to leave it languishing in a drawer, and that I should try and make something out of it. Buoyed up with the recent partial success of my blue and yellow regency gown, I thought that I could attempt to make another article of Regency clothing. I chose to make a sleeveless spencer, and used the Sense and Sensibility Spencer pattern and lined it with the same material that my white gown is made out of. 

After I finished my blue and yellow gown, Sabine (who has a fabulous blog) recommend completely hand sewing a garment. I decided to take her advice and made the spencer by hand (except for a little cheating when sewing the lining and fashion material together!! :) ) It took quite a while but it was a much less stressful experience then using a machine  - no shouting and hitting the machine!!!  Here is how it turned out. I am quite pleased with it :) (well most of it).

The pink trim was on the nightie so I just removed it and restitched it onto the fabric. 

I am not crazy about the fact that the armholes are quite a bit wider than the actual dress. It looks a bit strange but I think the S&S spencer jacket pattern has wider armholes than the gown pattern. I am not sure if it is historically accurate. If it isn't than I might just add some sleeves.

I am wearing my white gown and petticoat underneath.

Goofy photo of me . :) I seem to be a trifle lopsided!! 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Blue and Yellow Regency Gown

As I have protested before, I am pretty useless at sewing. I can do basic straight lines but otherwise any item of clothing I try to make, comes out all weird and twisted and pretty unwearable. Every time I finish making one of my unwearable masterpieces I usually declare to my family that never again will I attempt to sew any item of clothing. However, for some mind-boggling and unknown reason I always seem to try again and again, and so put both me and my sewing machine through more torture!! 

At the Jane Austen Festival in September, I bought 5 metres of beautiful cotton from Charlotte Raine, who is a fabulous seamstress and who also runs courses at the Festival. I had initially intended to have it made up into a gown by a professional, but I decided that I was spending way too much money on historical clothing. So in a moment of madness, I made the decision to attempt once again to make a wearable item of clothing. It took quite a few months and a few sewing tips from a very talented family friend, but I have done it!! :) I have actually made a gown that I wouldn't mind being seen in outside the house! Admittedly it isn't perfect but it is wearable!! I am so happy!!! :) 

Here it is: 

My eyes were closed in this photo, and I looked rather strange, so I cropped it. I am wearing a petticoat and chemisette underneath the gown. 
I used the the Drawstring Gown pattern from Sense and Sensibilities Elegant Ladies Closet pattern.

The back. The pattern has the sash as optional, and then I added the trim at the bottom of the gown. I can't wait for re-enactment season to start again so I can wear it to an event!! :) Now all I need is a spencer and bonnet to wear with it. Hmm.... :)

Sunday, 1 January 2012