This gown has been a long time coming. I had been planning a gold taffeta ballgown since last Fall to wear to an event in January. When it became apparent that I wouldn’t get that done in time I shifted my deadline to a Regency Ball for June. With that shift, I also ordered this silk organza as an overlay to the taffeta. While not a replica of any of Josephine’s gowns, I used many of her portraits as inspiration.
I used the same Laughing Moon 126 pattern as the dotted swiss and made the adjustments for lengthening the front of the bodice. However, next time I need to start it closer to the sides as I need more length there as well. My biggest complaint with this style is that it tends to “poof” out at the hips due to the overlapping fabric where the slits in the skirt are. I’m sure part of it is the fabric and another part of it is I’m rather “hippy” as it is, but it’s something to keep in mind if you use a fabric with a lot of body to it (and especially if you use two layers like I did). The sleeves are the regular short sleeves with a small tuck taken in at the base. I intended to do the puffy sleeves, but this actually worked out better since I was running out of fabric and they’re probably more flattering on me. I lengthened the ties so they can go around my waist and tie under the bib instead of the back. I cut the medium length train for the organza and left the taffeta layer floor length so if I needed to pick up the train, I didn’t have to worry about two layers of fabric.
The time-consuming part of the gown was all the trim. The lace came in panels which needed to be cut apart, carefully placed on the organza, clipped around the curves and then hand-stitched. I added the pearls afterwards.
The shoes were trimmed using leftover lace and trim. They looked beautiful until I kept snagging it on the hem of my dress which pulled off the metal part. Lesson learned.
Even though I didn’t copy one of Josephine’s gowns, I did want to match the jewelry that she often wore in her portraits. I contemplated making it myself, but ended up finding an etsy seller that was willing to make what I wanted. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Many thanks to Jen Thompson for taking photos before the ball. Here’s one last one of myself and Megan Martin (who has an etsy shop) channeling the Bingley sisters.
Pattern: Laughing Moon 126
Lace: Fabric Empire on etsy
Brooches: large one is vintage, smaller ones on sleeves and shoes: etsy
Jewelry: Custom order from Tudor Shoppe
Made November 2013 to wear to the DFW Costumer’s Guild Georgian Picnic.
- Pattern: Sense & Sensibility Regency Spencer/Pelisse
- Fabric: Wool suiting. Bodice and hem guard in natural linen. Sleeves lined in taffeta.
I have made this pattern three times and it’s wonderful. It’s easy to fit due to the drawstring front and I love the small triangle back.
The first one is a green reproduction print on a quilting weight cotton. It’s perhaps a bit heavy, but it wears well. I was unsure how the back was supposed to be sewn and did it slightly different but it turned out okay.
The second one is made out of a shirting fabric and I gathered the back of the skirt instead of pleating because I didn’t want it to be obvious if I got off with the stripes.🙂 The net lace is a vintage find from etsy that works beautifully as a tucker.
The last one is made from a silk cotton from Mood. Unfortunately, I only got one wear out of it as it shrunk horribly even though I washed it on cold. *sigh*
My first foray into costuming dates back to 2007, when a friend and I decided to attend a Renaissance Faire. I had some semblance of a (now out of print) pattern, a basic sewing knowledge (albeit a bit rusty), but no dress form. I did manage to order a renaissance corset of sorts, so that was a plus. I remember the bodice being a complete flop, so I resorted to making sort of a “cover” for the corset by tracing the lines and adding straps of grosgrain ribbon. While not the most historically accurate costume, I at least used linen!
Three years later in 2010, another friend and I visited a different Renaissance Faire and I dug out my costume and remade the top part into something a bit better with some upholstery fabric.
In 2012, I took my sisters to yet another Renaissance Faire and added an overskirt in an attempt to dress it up a bit. Again, upholstery fabric FTW! (At least it’s washable…)
Here’s hoping I get to redeem my self in the future with this time period!
I’ve got a number of posts lined up featuring costumes that were made pre-blog. They are hastily thrown together, so please excuse any typos! The project that is currently on my sewing table is my most ambitious yet. Remember the Empress Josephine post? Yeah… that’s happening!
LINK: Gaston Reference
Back in June of 2013, my brother needed a Disney costume for a Disney themed piano performance so I volunteered to make one. I used a lot of fabric that I either had on hand or could acquire cheaply, since I knew this would only be worn once. I also cheated a bit by attaching the waistcoat to the jacket instead of making them separately and closing the gaiters with velcro. I’m most proud of the breeches, since they are the most accurate. It’s definitely a mix of historically accurate with the not-so-accurate-but-passable-from-a-distance. My only regret is that I couldn’t get him to wear a wig.