Sunday, January 4, 2009

The "Elinor" Dress

I know I have been, half-guiltily, indulging in sewing regency dresses of late. I do have reasons though - for one thing, I don't have many clothes that are nursing friendly anymore and for another thing, the message board at Sense and Sensibility is having a "week in historical dress" coming up soon that I really want to participate in! Regency gowns are some of the most practical period gowns one can wear while doing regular household things in this modern day, I think.

But this will be the last regency gown I'll post about for a while, I promise. I have nothing else to write about right now since every day passes pleasantly like the one before it. Thoughts of the upcoming birth of the baby takes over a very great deal of my mind and it seems I can either focus on my sewing projects - or cooking projects - or cleaning projects - or else I will sit and contemplate the baby for hours on end. Perhaps this is what is referred to as "baby brain"? I am getting very anxious to meet my new one and every day when I wake up I half-expect the Great Event to occur. 12 days to go until my scheduled c-section, unless baby comes before then!

Anyway, this is dress made from the leftover curtain fabric from the boys' new curtains. It is inspired by Elinor's blue dress in Sense and Sensibility. I say inspired by because I only saw the movie twice and I found it very difficult to find any screencaps of Elinor wearing this dress when searching for images of it! The ones I did find were very dark and low resolution so this is the best I could do, with what I remembered about her dress.

The train is longer in the back on this one, like Elinor's, and the skirt back is fuller than the other dresses I recently made since the material is wider and I used a full width panel for the back skirt.

I used the off white lace I mentioned in an earlier post for trimming around the sleeves and neckline, to dress up the gown. It was so very plain when I finished it and I thought it could use a little contrast. I also pinned on a silk bow at the front neck. It is one I made last summer to with an 1860's dress I made but I thought it worked just as well on the regency gown, and it seems very Elinor-ish to me. :)
So, there is my most inexpensive (as of yet!) gown - approximately $4 or so for the fabric and everything else I already had. I was very disappointed I had to sew it up in white thread. I usually only keep cotton thread on hand and have only white and black since I usually can use either or for most projects I do. I couldn't find my black thread ANYWHERE so I had to use the white. It shows, but, oh well. It works. It is a heavier dress than my others so is definitely fall/winter/early spring wear. I think it will be too warm to wear in the summer.

Speaking of summer, it seems winter has vanished tracelessly. For the geese are coming north again, already.




  1. That is *beautiful*! That is a color I'd like to use in my boys' room as well. I love those dark blue-grays. These last days of pregnancy are so precious too. I'm so excited for you:).

  2. I agree with Lillibeth! You are quick:-) I might be quicker if I didn't procrastinate so;-)

    I really like this blue dress and its trim...quite lovely and practical!

    Wow! Only 12 days exciting:-) You will continue to be in my prayers and enjoy these last days!

    Lots of love,

  3. I have really enjoyed looking at these dresses. It has inspired me to sew more for myself and not just plan things for my toddler.

  4. Elinor is my favorite character of Austen's. This gown is so lovely. How do you get so much done with little ones running around?

  5. Very nice! I love the color. I can't wait to see pictures of your little one :-)

  6. very pretty color. you are so fast at sewing. wondering about the baby there is no picture up with days left did you have your sweet baby today???????

  7. Sarah, your dress is lovely. I know how you feel about the baby- I am due the 23rd of this month and I am the same way. If I don't keep busy, I just daydream...I can't wait to meet my baby. Thinking about it doesn't make it come any faster, unfortunately.
    I hope everything goes well for you these last few days.

    In Christ,

  8. Sarah,
    I always always enjoy reading about your sewing projects. You make such beautiful feminine dresses! Keep up the good work!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog! May you have many blessings with the birth of your new wee one.

  10. I saw your comment at Aelwyn's and thought I would stop by. I don't know much about sewing, being a man. My wife used to sew all her own gowns for the Marine Corps birthday ball every year, and they were beautiful. She's a big Jane Austin fan, too. Good luck with the new addition to your family.

  11. Hi Sarah,
    We haven't heard from you recently and I'd wager most of us are waiting with bated breath to hear if you're delivering that new sweet babe. :) Many prayers are with you and your family! - Amy

    P.S. - Gorgeous dress!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!