Monday, 7 May 2012

A Half-Robe and a Couple of Bonnets

I thought I would give you all an update on my latest attempts at sewing items of Regency clothing. 

I have been working on a half-robe for months, and finally finished it last weekend! It has been a slightly stressful experience (mainly to do with sizing, and my sewing machine giving up and having to be fixed), but I am quite pleased with the way it turned out, thought there are many improvements that a skilled seamstress could make!! 
My biggest problem was that I have no idea how to draft a pattern, to drape, or even alter an existing pattern. I looked for a pattern that wouldn't baffle a beginner but found none. However whilst looking through my pattern stash I noticed that on the Sense and Sensibility ELC pattern it states that the crossover gown can be used to make a half-robe. So I decided to try it out.

And here is the finished result. When I took these photos there was no one at home to take one of me wearing it so it does look a bit odd. Continuing my bedlinen theme, the material is from a duvet cover. :) I always loved the material so saved it to make something out of it, though I originally wanted to use it for a Georgian gown, but decided that the material had become too thin (multiple washes in its former life as a duvet cover). The only thing about using this material is that when I look at the robe I always think it looks like some kind of pyjama top!!! :)

I added a white silk band around the waist, partly because I thought it needed some kind of trim, but also I had to re-size the front a bit and the end result didn't look very pretty!! :)

Detail of the shoulder

the waist inside. It was looking a bit ragged so I covered it in bias binding.

The lining, which looks so strange when its not on someone. This project has made me realise that I really want a dress form!!

And now to the bonnets...
 I have a few of bonnets, but one I can only wear with either a white gown or green, as it is made out of a green patterned material, and another I can only wear with a white or pink gown as it is made out of a pink patterned material. My final one is an ever so pretty straw poke bonnet but it is too small :(, I can wear it but it looks a bit odd. 
All this made me come to the conclusion that I needed a new bonnet that I could wear with my other gowns. At the Jane Austen Festival last year Dressing History were selling some lovely ones at the Country Faire, but as the Guildhall was insanely overcrowded (just like every year), I never made it to their stall. However, about a week ago I had a look on their website and found some lovely bonnets.

I had only intended to buy one but the postage was the same however many I bought so I thought I would buy two, and never buy anymore bonnets ever again!!! :)
I chose a cottage bonnet and a bergere. 

I haven't decided how to trim them yet, but I am thinking something simple, and one will definitely be with white ribbon so I can wear it with pretty much anything.