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Dress diaries - M'lisilinaath Thabana

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May 3rd, 2009

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05:33 pm - Dress diaries
I needed a dress for my cousin's wedding. This one can double as a costume for off-duty Ariel Corps members methinks (from the books by Novik).


and from the back

The drawers and chemise are from a Victorian pattern (Truly Victorian) because I am Very Lazy and CBA to make myself a Regency shift (an article for which I lack a pattern). Made from white lawn (from Whaleys of Bradford) and trimmed with lace wot I found in John Lewis. Stockings were purchased, opaque white is pretty much period for regency. Shoes are entirely out of period, Regency shoes were flat, but Mum insisted on buying me 'proper' shoes.

Corset is from Corsets and Crinolines (page 76) "late 1820's". The pattern is for someone much thinner than I am so I made it larger by the simple method of adding a bit 'round the edge. As you can see from the back picture I didn't do this quite correctly as it has a much larger gap at the top than the bottom. Made from cotton coutil, interlined with muslin and line with a printed cotton dress fabric. It's got some steal bones, some read boning and a lot of cording as well as a bunch of embroidery. It has a wooden Busk in front, which is removable. I have neglected to drill holes in it so it has a habit of falling out (should drill holes!).


Pattern: Morning Dress C 1798-1805 (so a bit earlier than the corset), page 48-49+52 of Patterns of Fashion 1. This dress is a 'drop front' dress; it comes off as follows - un-button/pin the pleated front part, un-tie tie-strings that go around the back and hold up the rest of the front (the front seams are sewn on about half way up) and drop the front, un-pin the two halves of the bodice, take off as if a shirt, step out. I sized up the pattern but I think maybe not quite enough. It is very tight across the back (which may be period but isn't comfortable) and the blue sleeves are too tight (or my arms are too fat). The shoulders are rather more off-the-shoulder than I would like in this picture (if I were being a well behaved regency lady I would have a chemissette or something to fill in the neckline but I iz lazy)

It's made of blue cotton lawn, the bodice is lined with coutil which would give enough support to wear it w/o the corset if I wanted. I have also attached an under-skirt in white lawn to the bodice lining instead of making a separate full length petticoat.

Dress with Spencer

The pattern for the spencer is a the top part (just lop off the skirt) of the Pelisse pattern 1818-1823 (yay for no consistency of years), again from Patterns of Fashion 1 p 53-54. Again I had to size this up, but I think I did it more 'right' since this one fits. The fabric is a green-on-green dragon brocade (super suitable for Aviators methinks). The buttons are done as cufflinks (no buttons are sewed to the spencer) for ease of button-changing (although sewing buttons together is a pig, so not very easy).

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:May 3rd, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
Haven't even heard of it.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:May 3rd, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
Ahhahha great! Maybe, dunno if I have leave/money for that sort of outing though.
[User Picture]
Date:May 3rd, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Ooh! It's very shiny.
Date:May 4th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
That is awesome.

The sleeves of the dress do look like they don't fit - if you have enough fabric and time to redo just those parts I would consider it worth doing for the sake of comfort. [Translation: I always do it and now I buy an extra metre for the inevitable sleeve-screwup I will do.]
[User Picture]
Date:May 4th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
I do have some fabric, I might try that when I have time.

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