ladybranwen: (Felicity fashion)
[personal profile] ladybranwen
March and April edition. Because I'm that far behind.


The Challenge: Stashbusting - Robe a la Francaise

Fabric: Brown silk

Pattern: Mix of draping and the Larkin & Smith English Gown pattern

Year: mid-1700s

Notions: silk thread, trim, pearls

How historically accurate is it? Well, with the exception of the lining, it is all hand sewn

Hours to complete: Too many to recall. The problem was that I worked on it over the course of a couple months- I got pregnant after starting it and was tired all the time (yay! first trimester). Got it done the day before the event. Phew!

First worn: March 28th, 2015 for the Francaise Dinner in Alexandria.

Total cost: $9 for dress fabric silk (re-purposed three silk curtains from a thrift store), $5 for silk for trim I found at a red tag sale at Joanns (surprised how nicely it matched), $6 for silk thread, $9 for pearl beads/decorations. The total being: $29. How much of it was stash? Both fabrics were purchased the previous year with the intention of the curtains to be made into a Francaise dress, the other silk just because I thought I could use it, half of the decorations were stash leftovers from broken jewelry bits I didn't use in the centers of my flowers, the other half was purchased new, as was the thread.

I'm glad that I was able to fit into my stays and dress as I was already showing a bit in the stomach and had a huge increase in my upper half since the start of sewing the dress. When I look at the pictures of myself from that night, all I can think of is "wide load". Thank goodness that these types of dresses are way more forgiving for weight gain than others of the time period.


The Challenge: War and Peace - Because needs must, I took a different look at this theme. I was planning on going to Fort Frederick Market Fair and needed something to wear that would fit. Being pregnant, my body was at war with itself (or at least with stays), so I adapted something to work for me. This meant I finally completed the first pair of corded short stays I had started two years ago and had abandoned being too big for me, and made a new jacket and petticoat.

Fabric: Pink cotton sheet for the jacket, lining fabric taken from the underside of the duvet cover I used for the petticoat fabric (it was Matelasse cotton). All I need to do to finish the stays was to finish the binding and put eyelets in.

Pattern: Stays were from the Sense and Sensibility pattern, I used jacket pattern A from the J.P. Ryan jacket patterns, and the petticoat was from practice. I took inspiration from this post at Arachne Attire.

Year: 18th century

Notions: Self-fabric buttons, ribbon for stay closure, pink and cream thread, binding fabric for stays.

How historically accurate is it? Well, considering it was a mixture of 18th century clothing with Regency stays, I'm actually well pleased with how it turned out. And it was super comfortable to wear all day- with the exception that my petticoat did want to slide down and had no proper stay shaping at the bottom to help keep it in place. Just my stomach which did not provide the correct shape at all. It was also almost all done by machine sewing.

Hours to complete: Grabbed a few hours here and there over the course of two weeks. Finished day of due to being slow and discovering that the petticoat fabric would be a bit too thick after the pleating to be done by machine, so hand-sewed the pleating down and binding.

First worn: April 25, 2015.

Total cost: $3 for pink sheet, $10 for duvet cover, $5 for sundry trim/binding tape/etc.

Maybe you can't see it, but there really is a baby bump there. I was especially pleased with how well the petticoat turned out. Several people commented on it, though one person totally called me on using a duvet cover (apparently her sister had done a similar thing). But, when you figure how much I could have paid if I bought the fabric straight out, I'm not complaining. It just took me a while to work up the courage to cut into it, knowing I couldn't afford to buy a replacement!

So, I've been very please with my accomplishments so far this year. It is going to get trickier, however, from here on out, learning what to sew for this changing body.
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