Musings of a Lady

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Le Modiste: Back to the Regency!

The spring weather here in Northern California has been delightful.  We had a hot spell where even in San Francisco it was 89F - way too toasty for fog loving San Franciscans but just right for me, being southern California born.  Anyway, we are now back to Goldilocks-just-right temperatures and spring is busting out in greenery, flowers and singing frogs!

After a brief and very quick explosion of striped silk that ended in a polonaise that I quite like and enjoyed wearing, I am back to the Regency wardrobe I am preparing for my trip to Bath, England for the Jane Austen Festival in September.  I thought I would have a lot more done by now, but life happened.  Now, I am beginning to make progress.

Here is what I have been doing:  I am nearly finished with two UFO's. Hurrah!  The day dress I up-cycled by recutting the bodice needs buttons and buttonholes.  I did finish a boned-bodice petticoat which just needs to be hemmed. (I see a pile of handwork building up...)

Before I could attack said handwork, a great opportunity came my way.  I was given the privilege of testing a pattern for Laughing Moon Mercantile.  It is a new release and is available and fabulous!

The pattern has several options using an apron/bib front construction.  I have never used a Laughing Moon Pattern before but had good reviews from friends who have.  What makes these patterns fabulous are the detailed instructions, multiple sizes, good paper that doesn't rip when you look at it, and Laughing Moon knows how to work with different figures.  The instructions for taking your measurements is really important and for the first time with a commercial pattern I had to do no major adjustments to the mock-up.  In fact, when I tried on the mock-up, I couldn't believe that there was nothing to fix or adjust other than the length (I always have to adjust the length). I was so astonished that I called a friend, who was also testing and she has a different figure than myself but did not have to adjust anything either.  Whoa!  Here is how my gown began and finished:

I had planned to make the detachable long sleeve which is basted in and removed as desired.  But, I didn't have enough fabric.  Sigh.   Anyway, I am pleased with how it turned out and give many kudos to Laughing Moon Mercantile for another successful pattern.

With this gown done and added to the wardrobe, I have start work on another day dress.  The gowns of inspiration are:
Green and orange cotton print pelisse-dress. c1815 Met museum

Dress (ladies). Floral motif. Dark blue with scattered flowers printed in white and light blue. Linen / flax printed. Around 1825 - 1830. Dimensions: height 133 cm. National Swiss Museum webcollection.lan...
The fabric I am using is a cotton that comes close to these period patterns:
V&A Fabric - Leaf (Green)||RF20F, Found on - this is reproduction based on a Regency pattern from the Victoria and Albert Collection.

Dress fabric 1805-7 Manchester galleries
My fabric is dress weight cotton in  black with off white print:

The pattern I am using is based on La Mode Bagatelle's spencer pattern with changes to make a sloper with a V-neck semi-surplice bodice: 

As the neckline would not accommodate a center back opening, I decided to do an apron front gown rather than a pelisse-dress. So, far so good.  I don't have pictures yet, but hope to by the next posting.

Once I finish this gown, I plan to turn my attention to a pelisse, two evening gowns and accessories.  If I am able to get through this basic wardrobe wish list, I will work on additional pieces to fill out my wearable options.  The question is, can I take them all?  Well, given that flights now only allow up to 50 lbs per checked bag and with my ticket I am allowed to check 2...I am not sure.  The wardrobe being a Regency one means less bulk and less heavy fabrics so what I will be able to take and manage my suitcases on my onesy will become known later on.

Till the next post, have a great day and I hope this post finds you well and prosperous.


Lady D said...

I'm going to the jane austen festival in Bath too.
An alternative to the longsleeves is you could have a long sleeved chemise underneath or its a good excuse to make a spencer.
Knowing what uk weather is like it could be boiling hot in the morning and cold and wet by the afternoon. So prepare for everything with lots of layers.

Rowenna said...

Gorgeous work, Angela! And that green is just lovely on you!