Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Regency Project - Drawstring Gown, Pt. 2

With just a few days to finish this dress before the deadline, I dove headlong into making this gown yesterday. I didn't get very far. I thought that patterning the bodice would be pretty easy. I was wrong.
I started out with the pattern I made for the bodice of the bodiced petticoat. I thought I could redraw the seams a bit and have something workable. But for some reason it didn't work out that way. I had to go through four or five mock ups before I had a pattern that fit me how I wanted it to.

So last night all I was really able to do was to cut out the pieces of the bodice. I decided, as you may have noticed, to NOT use the white linen blend fabric. It just seemed a tad heavy to me so I decided to use the rest of the fabric left from my Hobbit shift. There was an entire nine yard length of fabric when I purchased it so there was plenty left to make a regency gown!

The only thing I don't like about this fabric is that it is a crinkly gauzy fabric. When I press it with starch it flattens out nicely but still, I think the finished dress will have a "rustic" quality. But it's better than the heavier linen blend stuff, I think, and will make very nice drawstring channels. :)

Today I have been able to sew the bodice together. I cut the lining of white cotton (a white cotton sheet, actually!) and treated the layers as one for the back and sides. The seam allowances were turned over and slip stitched down for a firm finish. Then the lining at the front was hemmed at top and bottom and front opening and is left loose from the outer bodice since it will close seperately.

The outer bodice front pieces are cut extra long and will be drawn up with a drawstring. Here you can see where I've pinned it to approximate the look it will have when drawn up. And excuse the red scratch on my neck. That is what comes of fitting onself and wiggling in and out of mock ups held together with pins. :P
The lining flaps look super tight here but I intend to close them edge-to-edge with hook and eyes (pins are probably more period correct, but since I have a nursing infant I want to avoid poking her when I hold her!)
I am really happy with how it is coming out so far! I hope I can find time this afternoon to finish the neckline around the straps (the straps form the back neckline as well, and sadly I have no picture to share of the uber-cool diamond back since my camera batteries died a sudden and dismal death). Then the skirt will be next, full pleated in the back and stitched flat in the front, which will be drawn up with drawstrings for a little fullness there.

I will save the sleeves for last. Those will probably be the most difficult part of this dress due to the cut of the back armscye.



  1. Seeing a few plaid dresses, I'm quite liking the new 'trend'.

  2. I thought I'd left a comment.... Ah well, I really like it, both cut and fabric!

  3. 1) love your process posts; I really learn a lot and get lovely ideas (that I never follow up on... still need to post the silly 1850s style dress I made because I was given twenty (!) yards of red polyester curtain material... someday I'll go authentic like you... then again, I just go to Dickens-on-the-Strand, not real reenactments... and I do have lovely material to make an 1890s dress that's appropriate, and have done some "Fashion Historian" )... 2) silly thought: just realized you're the only wholesome Christian blogger I know who regularly posts pictures of herself in her undergarments! (Yes, I know, they're fuller coverage than modern clothing, but that's what makes it a silly thought.)

  4. The gathered bust would be perfect for my not so fully endowed daughter. I think it would balance fuller hips also giving an hourglass shape.

  5. Thank you so much for the post, helped me a lot, I was looking for the diamond back.
    thank you for sharing it!
    kisses from Brazil,


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!