Friday, January 28, 2011

Green Regency Daydress; Progress!

It is hard to be sure when one will actually start a project, if you are like me. I tend to spend much more time researching, planning and imagining the finished product than I do actually cutting and fitting and sewing the pieces. However, inspiration struck yesterday so I cut out and started sewing the bodice of my new regency dress.

I was going to make a basic drawstring Elegant Lady's Closet dress but decided that I already have three of those and it would be too redundant to make another. It is a lovely pattern, but I wanted to try something new. Something different. Something that could still be adjustable for weight loss but look right.

I found an ideal style in Costume in Detail. I really love this design! It seems almost fan-frontish (which I have been really loving lately) and has a small crossover detail at the center front, which I also love. The back closes with a button at the neck and a drawstring at the waist. The gathers make it perfect for a hide-the-figure weight loss style and will be ideal with a drawstring waist.

I used my basic 1860's bodice as a starting point and made a mock up. I chopped off the dropped arms and made the armhole fit around the actual shoulder. I shortened the bodice to exactly the bottom of the bosom. I wanted to make this dress to wear with modern undies (a sportsbra) but it just looked really bad, so I ended up fitting the bodice over my 1790's transitional stays I made last year. I have not worn those stays since, probably, I made them but to my surprise they fit me even better than they did last year and gave just the right shape and "lift" to the bust. I am very happy with how it looks! I cut a diaganol line from the neckline at the shoulder to the center front bottom edge of the bodice to make the right neckline shape. I cut the lining from this. For the bodice fronts, I slashed and spread the lining pattern to give width to it. Then it was gathered down at the shoulders and at the "waist" to match the lining. Voila!

So far I have made the bodice and sleeves and am now meditating on the skirt. I want it pretty flat in front (to avoid looking pregnant) but so far I have not cut it out.

The bodice fits *almost* exactly around my underbust. It is a teensy bit big and the waistline drawstring will snug it up to a perfect fit. At least, that is the plan. :)

Maybe I will get out the straw hat brim I've been hoarding and make a bonnet to go with this.


Monday, January 10, 2011

A Medieval 12th Night

Despite a stomach bug which, all last week, ran its course through each member of our little family, we all were over it by Saturday evening and were able to go to the 12th Night party held for our SCA barony. It was a  lot of fun; in fact, I can't remember when I've had such a good time!

I can't help comparing SCA events to Civil War events. I honestly can't help it. Civil War reenacting has been a aprt of my life since I was around twelve years old. The past few years I've been disillusioned with reenacting, gaining a bit of excitement for it from time to time but mostly oh, so tired of it. The SCA is very different and in many ways  I like it a lot better. There is a family atmosphere; a jolly comraderie, an air of expectancy to have a good time. I don't feel like I'm being judged based on what kind of clothing I wear or how much I have researched it or what kinds of fabrics I've used to make it. In our reenacting world, oftentimes ones acceptance into a social circle is based purely on appearance. I can understand that, since I've been on that side of the fence. I know how disillusioning it is to put hard work into a researched outfit only to have everyone else show up in quasi-"old-fashoined" attire. But you know what? Most of my recent enjoyment at events has been from meeting other people, who wouldn't necessarily be considered ultra authentic but who have been some of the sweetest, most down to earth and enjoyable people I've met. I detest the snobbish attitude of some of the more authentic women cliques that we have around here at CW events. Those who snub and spurn or ignore others who they consider "below" them. . .now, I cannot say if this attitude it conscious since a lot of these ladies seem to be genuinely nice people, but it is how they come across purely from an observational point of view.

So anyway, the SCA is a refreshing change from all that. I feel that I can be myself and do not have to try to be something else, to please the standards of others. I have my own personal standards and you know what? That is all I need. That is really all I care about. Other people have standards that work for them. And everything is awesome that way.

I got a few more clothing items made for us so we at least were more fully dressed than our last event.  I got Davids over tunic made and made him and the boys hoods. I'm sorry the picture of David is so washed out but I think our camera needs to be replaced soon and this was the only picture I had of his full length outfit where he was not making a strange and horrific face. ;P

Our friend Peter came with us to 12th Night. What would we do without Peter's company, pray?! He is very dearly beloved of the boys  and a very old friend of mine - one of the very few male friends I had prior to my marriage that still continued to be my friend after my marriage - even writing hand written letters to keep in contact with me and David during times we did not have the internet or, in our early days of wedded life, even a phone. Peter has been taking fencing classes at college and I think he is very interested in joining our group. Now that he has been lured in, time to make him some proper clothes!

In a few weeks we'll be going to our first big event. In the meantime, the Christmas season seems to be truly over now and I still have my Christmas tree up! I think today I will tackle taking down the decorations and putting everything back into it's usual place, make some tea  and start school again with the little boys. We have had a few week break and they are eager to get back into their regular schedule. And for some illogical reason, I have a great desire to make a fan front dress in an early 1850's style. So we'll see where that desire leads. :) I feel like I need a REASON to make one, but the only truthful reason I have is . .. that I want to!

Have a wonderful week,