Saturday, July 16, 2011

Regency Wardrobe Update

I have gotten quite a few things done since my last post! I finished my short stays, designed and made my bodiced petticoat (minus the hem, and few things left to be desired), and today I started my gown mock up (which may actually end up being a gown in itself).

Regarding the stays, I ended up not covering the ends of the boning with caulking because I found the rounded and spray painted edges to be more than sufficient. Today I did end up taking out the diagonal boning under the bust because I found it too cumbersome for the natural regency look. I left the casing in it because that alone provides some structural support and shape. The only thing I regret doing in not making the straps long enough. I could of fixed this problem by simply making the straps tie in the front (like most stays do) but frankly I was afraid to cut the thing up when I was so close to finishing. They still do there job, but have a tendency to slide up if you raise your arms. Oh well, I know for next time.

As I said, the bodiced petticoat leaves something to be desired. For the most part it came out how I pictured it, minus the bodice being too long for the higher waisted regency look and the back being slightly too wide at the top (resulting in gaping). Considering this will be under some layers I am not too worried. After I get the gown done, if I need to change something, I'll worry about it then.

I started the mock up today with a sheet I got from a thrift store. It is 100 percent cotton and moderately thick (not at all like the muslin or batiste that regency dresses were made out of). It also has this classy stripped pattern that is part of the cloth and is the same color. Looking at it now, I think it will work quite nicely as a dress or even an open robe. It's nice to know that all the work put into the mock-up may not be in vain. The most challenging part so far has been the sleeves...which I never in my life have made, let alone without a pattern. Hopefully I will be done with it tomorrow and then I can move on to doing the final planning for the gown. Did I mention I have a beautiful, thin, cotton, royal blue print fabric that I plan on using?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Regency Short Stays

I am almost done with my short stays. I was planning on being done by now, especially considering it only too me about two days on and off to come up with the pattern and piece it together. The most tedious part is preparing the final boning. I have to cut each piece (which I have already done), file and round the ends, sanding them down, spray paint them, and cover the tips in some latex/silicone caulking. If I really wanted to be lazy and I didn't care about the possibility of future rusting, I could totally bind the edges and be done with it right now. But, considering all the time I have put in, I really want to do it right the first time around.

I am already mentally planning the bodiced petticoat and how I am going to piece it together. I have yet to decide on what kind of closure it will have, but I know it won't be buttons. From what I have read, buttons are not the most authentic closures for either regency gowns or underthings. I have pretty much decided that the gown will have tie closures in the back, so I really don't want to have similar tie closures in the back of the bodiced petticoat. If I did, it will not only add awkward bulk to the back, the gap would show through all the way down to the stays. I know I will have a gather under the bust of the bodiced petticoat that will tie from the inside. If I also add a gather to the top edge I might not need an opening at all and I would just gather the edges after I slipped it on. But, first things first, I need to get off my but and finish the stays! Wish me luck.