Monday, February 27, 2017

I Hate Regency, or, Ball Gown Progress

Ok guys, I've got my ranty pants on...

I had this great idea.


After acquiring some fantastic new stays that are super comfy and keep all the things where they're supposed to go, I thought it would be nice to have some Regency gowns that also fit me well to go over them. A great idea? A great idea!


So as I started working on a new Regency ballgown for an 1817 event I'm attending in a couple of weeks, I was careful to start from the beginning. I re-drafted the bodice pattern up from Patterns of Fashion (which I've used previously and liked), made a mock-up, fit it, made a second mock-up to be sure, and then started sewing my dress. And somehow, even with all of that, I've ended up re-cutting the shoulder bands twice, unpicking and re-stitching the back three times, and just generally had basically nothing go according to plan.

"You'll have such a solid Regency bodice pattern at the end of this, though," I keep reminding myself. But still. Why is getting Regency to fit so much harder than any. other. period?


So with some help from The Boy, I got into stays and tried the sucker on again tonight, re-did the shoulder bands again, and finally got something that fits. Hooray! But the angle doesn't match my stays, and they show at the back. Boo!

back problems :/ (the puckers are from pins in the interior)
For the ball, I'm just going to piece in a curved bit of silk to fill in the gap and cover my stays-then I can trace a new shoulder strap pattern piece that incorporates a wider back bit after the ball, when I'm not pressed for time. Because tomorrow sleeves need to go on! At least the fabric is lovely (icy gray-blue silk with embroidered white net over top), so I will look somewhat elegant regardless.

Bah humbug.

the bodice with straps pinned in place-at least my stays are fully covered in front! sleeves tomorrow.
the wretched thing in full.
I know that I'll be happy to have something that fits well in the end, and since I'm carefully keeping the pattern up to date with changes, I'll also have a pattern that fits well to make future dresses. Worth it--even if I'm frustrated now. So I'm taking a break, cuddling with the cat, and ranting on the internet. By tomorrow evening hopefully I'll feel better, and can knock out sleeves without fuss. But tonight...tonight I'm watching Austenland and moping.



  1. Oh boo! I'm sorry you're having such trouble! I think a night off is a good idea. Hopefully tomorrow the dress will decide to behave better. ;) Your materials sound/look lovely!


  2. Suuuuuuuuper late to this post, but A: the dress is beautiful and B: any post that abuses Austenland gifs is automatically the best mopeyrant post ever. (Yes JJ Felid, please come here with your diaperbutt pants and cravat and take that coat off!)

    1. Ha, thanks! I love that movie and it is amazing how often its gifs are relevant...