Our first event of the year was a visit to the Leura Everglades in February. A lovely spot, those who managed to make it had lunch and a lovely time.
The 2018 Regency weekend was fantastic, thanks very much to the organisers for a great weekend! In addition to the ball, there was a ribbon embroidery workshop I went to and a screening of the 1995 Sense and Sensibility film with a talk about the recreation of Jane Austen’s plisse (coat).
The next morning, we had brunch at the Gingerbread House at Katoomba. Thank you to the lovely people who didn’t mind us invading and preparing a special Regency blend hot chocolate.
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!
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.
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.
Today marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. There have been many events today to commemorate this, and I attended the a lecture and morning tea at City of Ryde Library. The lecture was given by Paul Brunton, Emeritus Curator at the State Library of NSW, an authority on the 18th century and a long time Austen fan.
I attended in costume, promoting the society and the upcoming events we have. Hopefully I saw you there1
Just a heads up to an event some of us will be going to in the near future, the Wentworth Falls Regency weekend and ball. This will be in September in the Blue Mountains and there is still time to register.
For more information, please check out their website.
For our Parramatta Park high tea I wanted a Regency bonnet I could do quickly and cheaply to match my lilac coloured Regency gown. I based mine off this blog.
I started with a straw hat that I got from a $2 shop. Got the flowers from the same place too and I’m tempted to make some more hats just so I can go back there and get some more flowers.
I cut a section off the brim of the bonnet and hand sewed some gathered fabric. In hindsight, I probably should have used more fabric and I will next time. Don’t make the same mistake I did.
After that I attached some ribbon around the edge with a hot glue gun and covered my mistakes there with some lace.
I then finished it off with some more ribbon. Several layers of some translucent mauve ribbon and some more ribbon on top to tie it on. Then the flowers, tying them together with some more ribbon and lace.
I was quite satisfied with the results but I’m sure I can do better next time.