Category: ball gown

Regency Sari Ballgown – Part 3

The first step was to attach the lining to the various pieces, mostly by hand stitching. After that it was time for construction, which Marion and I began over a marathon day of about five hours.

First, we constructed the bodice itself, adding the layers until it was complete and could be tied up the front to make sure for size. The turquoise lining can be seen here, but the bib would cover it up.

After that it was on to the sleeves, gathering them getting them attached to the sleeve bands and then to the shoulder straps. The stiffness of the lining gave them a good shape, meaning reinforcement for a puff was unnecessary once they were gathered at both ends.

And then, we go on to attaching the skirt to the ball. First gathering the skirt and the lining and then attaching it to the bodice. This wasn’t a small job, but thanks to what I had learned from Adrienne and Marion up to this point, I managed to pull it off.

So here it is, very closed to finished and almost in time for the ball! Thanks very much to Adrienne and Marion for their experience and patience. This never would have been done without them!


Regency Sari Ballgown- Part 2

Before we started construction on my dress, I had no idea it would be so involved. And had I known this before, then perhaps I wouldn’t have thought of starting it. But, it was worth it in the end despite the difficulties and thanks to the invaluable skills of Adrienne and Marion.

First thing I would like to relate what Adrienne said to me about anyone embarking on a Regency sari dress: everyone is unique to each woman and each sari. What she did with measuring me and the fabric was to try and use the best features of the sari as well as have enough fabric to make the garment. This does take a rather experienced eye, which I didn’t have. However, this is also what would have been done if one was constructing a gown back in the Regency period. To take a sari brought from India to a dressmaker and have them make a gown from it.

First we decided on a pattern, we used the Laughing Moon bib front gown and after some measuring and cutting by Adrienne, we were left with these pieces to make the dress.

The pallu, the loose end of the sari, we preserved entirely to make the front of the dress. The back is made of two starred panels with a plain blue in between. There are also stars on the centre back piece and on the sleeves (not pictured). The borders we managed to save are be used for the bib front, the shoulder straps and sleeve bands.

Given the sari is so sheer, it needed a lining. I settled on a bright turquoise in the end to bring out the colour, as well as a few shades of purple which unfortunately  my camera could not bring up. The lining would also form the support for the bodice ties for the bib to be attached to.

Next we will move on to construction of the gown itself.

Regency Sari Ballgown – Part 1

With the ball at Wentworth Falls coming up, I was looking at a ballgown. Firstly a white on white embroidery gown, but I am still very much learning my embroidery. So instead I decided to go with a dress made from an Indian sari, much easier and even authentic.

After some Googling I chose this sari from CBazaar, going for a border I could use as a hem and some decoration I could use for the skirt. It arrived promptly, and I have started to play with it on my mannequin and the jewellery I plan to wear with it.

The design I have is fairly basic, but the key is the cutting out to take advantage of the sari’s embroidery. Next month we have a sewing day for our club, and with the help of the more experienced seamstresses I will cut it out and make a start to it.