Historical Sew Fortnightly (HSF) Challenge #1 complete! It was actually completed a few days ago, which I am super pleased about. Even better is that it is for a Regency ball in February, and it is entirely complete a full month ahead of time! All the trim, all the closures, everything! All I have to do on the day of the ball is put it on. Wow! Usually when I wear a new dress to a ball I’m furiously sewing right up until the end and often all the trim doesn’t make it on (that’s what happened with my 1820s green dress back in December, remember?).
Fabric: 4 yds red and black shot polyester
Pattern: The bodice front was draped, the back was adapted from my 1812 square neck Ikea gown, and the skirt is the same as the 1812 square neck Ikea gown, with the pattern originally from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion
Notions: 3 yds metallic gold bobbin lace, hooks, and little brooch bits
How historically accurate?: The silhouette, cut, and style are accurate, as is the interior finishing (all flat felled and bound edges… it’s quite pretty!). The fabric is obviously not accurate and neither is the lace fiber content, though the style of it is. The closure is accurate. The little brooch bits are accurate in style, though not in materials.
Hours to complete: I’m so bad at estimating this. Let’s say 48 hours.
First worn: Hasn’t been worn yet! Its first wear will be in February 2013.
Total cost: Approximately $26
Now for other details!
Well, first, here’s a closeup of the bodice, so you can actually see the details and the little brooch bits. I’m super pleased with them, because I think they really finish off the bodice and add a little extra touch. I got them from New York and Company, actually. They were part of triple drop earrings, which I took apart. I kept the bottom drop and put them on clip backs (so now I have matching earrings for the dress!) which you can see in the picture below. And the best part is that one of the sections had a missing gem, so the cost of the earrings was refunded by NY&Co and so the total cost of the earrings is $0! Awesome! (It worked out perfectly, because I only used 5 sections of the triple drop earrings, so the damaged one wasn’t a problem.) Of course, the materials used in the earrings are not at all historically accurate, but I’m ok with that, for the cost (yay!) and the fact that they do have the right look.
And here’s the back. As you can see, it doesn’t quite fit Squishy in the back, but it shouldn’t have trouble fitting me. I love the drape of the fabric! Now that all the raw edges are enclosed and the polyester can’t fray everywhere, I am totally happy with the fabric choice (bargain!). The photos don’t really do justice to the fabulous gold lace at the hem.
The dress is entirely hand finished and mostly hand sewn. Originally, I was going to make it all by machine, but then I had sewing parties and things that required hand sewing, and I just didn’t feel like lugging out the machine, so I wound up hand sewing a lot of it, which was quite satisfying. There’s one side back seam sewn my machine, I think the long skirt seams are sewn by machine (though I can’t remember, because I started this dress back in October or November), and the waistband was sewn by machine. Actually, it was so much easier to keep the width consistent using the machine than when sewing it by hand.
The only other information to share is my inspiration for the dress.
Clearly, I need a Kashmir shawl to complete the ensemble… I have a pashmina that sort of looks the part, so I’ll have to try that out at the ball. Stay tuned for more pictures of this dress in about a month!