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Sew, a needle pulling thread

September 3, 2010

Sewing is one of those pastimes we often dismiss for being our grandmother’s amusement.  I found myself rethinking this ill-founded judgement one afternoon when I discovered something straight out of my dreams…

Being an avid fan of everything Regency England-specifically Jane Austen-I  was determined to attend the event.  The catch: proper regency attire required. After hours of research, it was decided that the best method of getting costumes for all who wished to attend would be to make them myself.

I would tell you that I was able to take English Country Dancing lessons and that there were close to 200 people at this ball all in Regency Era clothing-but then again I think it would be best to break it to you slowly…

The whole process started with a pattern.  I happen to love Jennie Chancey’s Regency Gown Pattern, which I downloaded from her website.

NEWSFLASH: Patterns nowcome as an “e-pattern”.  Once purchased and downloaded, it is printed, laid out and taped to created a full scale pattern. . After taping the pattern together, it is time to cut out your size.  Follow the measurements on the package carefully.  Then pin the pattern pieces to your fabric of choice, making sure that the grain of the fabric lines up with the designated direction on the pattern. NOTE: when making a pattern for the first time-especially with a historical outfit- it is best to make what is called a toile first.  A toile is simply a first attempt at the outfit using cheap material.  I will admit, that my toile for this gown was made out of bright purple fabric with gold stars-quite fashionable! :) After cutting out the fabric, pin the pieces together according to the directions After pinning, stitch the pieces together.  Not sure how to use your machine? Youtube it. If necessary, repeat all of previous steps for the lining. After finishing the sewing with the machine, hand stitch the hem, sleeves and buttons.  Not sure how to hand stitch?  There’s a youtube for that.

Now all that is left is to take some dance lessons, find a ball in your local area and enjoy your creations!

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From → Austen

2 Comments
  1. Oh, my goodness! You did such a wonderful job, and it was fun to read about the creation of the gowns. Feel free to share Show and Tell photos at http://sensibility.com/community/show-and-tell/submission/ :-)

    • Thank you Mrs. Chancey! My sister and I are planning on taking some pictures of our gowns this weekend, and I will definitely send them on. Thanks for the wonderful pattern!

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