I normally keep artsy-craftsy posts on my Tumblr, but I am so happy about this that I want to share it here too!

I’ve spent the summer collecting materials to make a Regency dress (like what you see in Jane Austen movies). I think of this as historical costuming rather than cosplay because I don’t have a particular character in mind, nor am I trying to reproduce a particular outfit from a movie. But maybe a character will come to mind as I work.

I found these lovely fabrics for very cheap at a discount fabric store. I didn't notice until I got home that the blue roses print says that it is from 1815-1850 on the selvage, so it's a little off, but not too bad!!
I found these lovely fabrics for very cheap at a discount fabric store. I didn’t notice until I got home that the blue roses print says that the pattern is from 1815-1850 on the selvage, so it’s a little off for the pattern I’m using (1790s-1805), but not too bad! I’m rather pleased with myself.

The print with the blue roses is going to be a dress with elbow-length sleeves and a drawstring neckline (see rest of the post!) and the greenish print is going to be a crossover-front half-robe. Basically like a waist-length jacket to wear over it.

I’m completely in love with the color combination. The cashier at the fabric store called the green/gold one “hard to love”. Hard to love? It’s GORGEOUS!

I also spent a long time designing and hand-stitching short-stays to go under the dress to get the right fit.

This was a very tricky project. A lot of hours went into it, and it's pretty solid, but I think I will eventually make a new, improved, studier one.
This was a very tricky project. A lot of hours went into it, and it’s pretty solid, but I think I will eventually make a new, improved, studier one. That, or make a slip with some supportive structure to it.

Here’s what I started yesterday.

The bodice in progress, with bias binding pinned around the neckline to make a drawstring casing. This part took a lot of patience to sew!
The bodice in progress, with bias binding pinned around the neckline to make a drawstring casing. This part took a lot of patience to sew!
Tiny stitching! Pretty good, I think?
Tiny stitching! Pretty good, I think? (Yeah, ok. I didn’t make my own bias binding.)
Yay! All done!
Yay! All done!

Photo on 2015-09-15 at 13.42 #2Next step is the skirt– shouldn’t be too hard– and elbow length sleeves. I’m not sure if I’m going to hand-stitch all the way down the skirt (48 inches…) but I think I probably will. I’m not too crazy about the sewing machine I have access to at the moment.

There was an emergency when I started out, though. I spent 3 hours pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric, and re-checked at least 6 times. Immediately after cutting the pieces out, I realized that the bodice pieces had the print UPSIDE DOWN!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I know the print is so small, but I couldn’t stand the idea of putting so much work into it and have all the tiny roses be upside down. That would be too sad.

After I’d cooled down a bit I realized that I had just enough to cut out new pieces for the bodice, and use the mess-up pieces for the lining. The sleeves will be the other way around, but I don’t think that will be too noticeable. I probably shouldn’t tell you, because you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

Ah well.

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