Little Dorrit dress, Part One

 “That’s a lot of hair…”

…errr, fabric. 🙂

 I’ve been working on my Amy Dorrit dress for the Literary Ball!  For a while, it was looking like I wouldn’t be able to attend the ball, but everything’s seeming to work out that I can go, so I’m VERY excited. 😀 😀  So last week we were at JoAnn’s and the polyester shantung fabric was on sale, and it was the right shade for my Amy dress, so I purchased it.  This week I’ve been working on the mock-up, and yesterday I spent several hours laying out the main fabric and situating the pieces and thinking about it… I can’t tell you how scary it was making that first cut into the expensive(to me) fabric. 😉 

Now to start sewing the actual bodice.  *is very nervous*  Please pray all goes well!
BTW, thought I might mention that the quote and picture at the beginning of this post are from Tangled, and no, I actually haven’t seen it yet, only watched the trailers (English and Japanese) and clips from it over and over again. 😉  But, I have pre-ordered it from Barnes & Noble and it should be shipping in 10 DAYS!  I am SO EXCITED!  I can’t WAIT! 😀 😀 😀

Amy Dorrit Ballgown

We are planning to attend a Literary Ball in April.  You can come as any book character, and I decided to come as Amy Dorrit.  This is the dress I’m planning to re-make (just hopefully I can find the right fabric for a sensible price! 🙂 )

Is it lovely? I’m so excited about this project and really hope I can find the right material and get the right look!

Things That Make a Seamstress Happy….

Some gifts I received today!  Thank you, Mamma, Pappa, and Marianne!!
I already have the fabric for the Swing Dress– the same fabric I used for Marianne’s medieval dress.  I can’t wait to get started on it!!! 😀  My first ’40s dress!  😀 
I spent some riding-in-the-car time today pouring over Patterns of Fashion. For those of you who have heard about how amazing it is– you heard correctly.  It is fantastic– no wonder all the “big-time” historical costumers love it.  It contains notes from and for dressmakers/tailors from the mid-1600s to the mid-1800s, as well as the basic patterns for some 40 or 50 women’s clothing styles from 1660 to 1860.  There are some gorgeous gowns and outerwear from the 18th century which I definitely plan to add to my wardrobe over time. 😉 (I’ll just have to sell some more doll clothes first. 😉 ) (Speaking of which, I think some of the patterns in J.A. may serve as inspiration for doll clothes as well. 😉 ) 
So, yes, I’m pretty excited. 🙂

Material!!!!! :)

Hello from Margaret!

This is a post about my material for my Regency dress for the ball in December!!!! I originally wasn’t going to get red and gold, but the green that I wanted was too expensive, and when I saw this crimson stuff, I was like “Aww, man, that’d be a cool dress.” So I bought it. 😀 The gold will be the sash, and maybe trim, if I need it. 😀 I’m SOOO excited!!!! 🙂

I love the buttons. 🙂

Just thought I’d share that with you all! 🙂 🙂

Regency Gowns Yet to Come!

I am so thrilled!!  We just found out that we, Lord willing, will be attending a Regency-themed Christmas Ball in December!!!  I am SO EXCITED, for one reason, because I’ve always wanted to attend a Regency ball, and for another reason, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to make and wear a Regency ballgown, and now I do! 😀
Marianne and Margaret have already told me what kind of dress they would like me to make them.  Marianne is interested in a dress similar to the dress Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) wears to Box Hill in the Mirimax version of Emma, or View A of the Simplicity version of Jennie Chancey’s Regency Dress pattern.
 Margaret is interested in a dress similar to Emma’s green evening gown in the 2009 BBC miniseries of Emma.
Now, you think I know which gown I want to make?
Me?  Indecisive me?
No way!
A hundred options lie before me.  Well, maybe not a hundred, but in any case, I have a lot of ideas.
 I love the following two dresses from Persuasion.  We’ll call them Anne’s Rose-Colored Evening Gown and Anne’s Concert Gown (because she wears it to the opera concert).
I’m not sure why, but have always liked this dress of Charlotte’s.  I think it is the more modest neckline and the lovely trim.  I’d make the waistline lower though.
 Then there is the afore-admired Marianne Crossover Dress, but would it be practical for dancing in?
I also just noticed this lovely dress from Becoming Jane.  I’ve always wanted a green gown! 🙂  (BTW, referencing a gown from the movie does not mean I approve of the movie.  I actually haven’t watched it, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not the story of the real Jane Austen. 😛 )
This would be a little later than Regency, but I do love Amy Dorrit’s ballgown/wedding gown too.
What do you think?  Which of the above should I make for myself?  Or should I be creative and make something of my own imagination? 😀

Edited October 13th: A dear and honest friend of mine expressed a concern about some of the immodest dresses in some of the pictures I posted (Lizzie’s and Caroline’s) so I have either removed or cropped them.  I apologize to those whom the pictures may have offended.  I do want this site to be honoring to the Lord, so if ever you have a concern, please feel free to voice it to me in a comment or email.

Regency Spencer Jacket ~ Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, Post 1

This week is the week of the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, hosted by Atlanta!  I had forgotten about it (as I usually do… oops!) until I started seeing lovely posts by other people with outfits inspired by various historical sources (fashion plates, paintings, films, book descriptions, etc.)  I hope you will take time to look at everyone’s creations here!
I actually did not make anything specifically for this event (because I forgot :-S ) though I have a million ideas in my head of things to create based on movies, paintings, etc.  But for the event, I decided to post about some projects I have done in the past.  Most of you have already seen these, but I’ll post them anyway.  One at a time, however.
Today I will be posting about my black Regency Spencer Jacket.
I got the inspiration from the 1995 miniseries Pride and Prejudice.  I have always loved Elizabeth’s Spencer jackets from this film, and had a hard time deciding on which one to make, but I eventually decided on this one:
There is some debate as to whether that’s dark green or black, but it looks black to me, so that is how I made mine. 🙂
Here is my re-make:
For the jacket, I used black velveteen fabric.  I used Sense and Sensibility’s Regency Spencer/Pelisse pattern.  I did make an alteration to the front opening and the collar, however, to make it look more like Lizzie’s.  (I borrowed the collar piece from another pattern.)  My sister crocheted the frog closures.  They work pretty well, except that it doesn’t hold it as closed as it could. 😉
 This is supposed to be my arriving-at-Netherfield, encountering-Mr.-Darcy look.  I got more of Kiera look than a Jennifer Ehle look, I think.
 Long walks after the rain…. very “Lizzie”… 😉
More details on this jacket can be found in this post.

Medieval Dress for Marianne- FINE! plus the explanation I promised…

 Here it is– the Medieval/Modern “formal” dress for “Marianne”!  🙂 🙂 🙂  Beware, there are lots of pictures in this post. 🙂
Pattern Description: McCall’s Costumes, M4491, View C

Pattern Sizing: Size 10

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? (except for the alterations I made and the look of the trim 🙂 )
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were very easy to understand. (How easy to apply is somewhat debatable.)  The only problem I had with the instructions was that they could have used much larger and bolder writing to let me know what view a certain set of instructions were for… that caused me a great deal of grief. 😉

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I look the medieval look to it, but also how it can be altered to look suitable for modern “fancy” wear.  (In Marianne’s case, it was to play for a wedding.)  It would make lovely bridesmaid dresses… The two things I disliked about the pattern were 1) what I already said about the confusion about the instructions for the different views, and 2) the underarm gussets!!!  The Sense & Sensibility Chemise gussets were a piece of cake compared to these.  They took me a looooong time and just weren’t the most fun thing to sew. Next time, I might alter the sleeve style so that I don’t have to do the gussets. 😉

Fabric Used: Casa Collection Special Occasion Fabric for JoAnn Fabrics… I am not sure what the actual kind of fabric is called, though.  I wasn’t the one who picked it out. 😉
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I omitted the train on the skirt.  I also inserted a zipper instead of having it lace up the back (to make it both more modern and more convenient).  My error in this was narrowing the back piece too much, so that the dress was almost too snug.  I just sewed in the zipper at a smaller seam allowance to make it work.

Would you sew it again? Definitely!  Margaret wants me to make it for her in View D, and I may be sewing several for another occasion in the semi-near future… 🙂

Would you recommend it to others? Again, definitely!  It’s a great pattern, pretty easy, mostly straight seams, and very beautiful.  Just make sure you mark all the dots, squares, and circles on the fabric in the right place so you don’t mess up on the gussets.  If you don’t, it could be frustrating.  And make sure you know which view you are sewing and which directions are for which view… Just sayin’. 🙂

Okay, now we move on to pictures:
 Unfortunately, the last WEEK has been so dull and cloudy and dreary and blaagh….  I’m sorry, but I just do not like fall.  Anyway.  The weather caused for not so gorgeous pictures, but I tried to alter the lighting to make it look a little better.  🙂 


 😀  It was windy.  😀
 Aaaahhh, silly Princess Kitty, always having to be in the middle of everything….

 The trim on the sleeves.
 The neckline.  It took me almost an hour to sew that trim on (in the car on the way to the revival meetings, because I was on such a tight deadline…)  My left hand was literally falling asleep holding on to the trim and fabric while I sewed it on (and I’m not kidding you; it was falling asleep).  The result was very satisfactory though.  Marianne picked a lovely trim.

 And now for those who were wondering…
and for those were not wondering…
and especially for Lady Helen Mar who was not sure whether she was reading into things…
Regarding the “Colonel Brandon” mentioned in this post
…though I did not check with him to see whether he minded be called Colonel Brandon, though he did enjoy watching the movie Sense and Sensibility with Marianne…
…you can just call him…
Here are Alex and “Marianne”. 🙂
 Here is a better picture of them, from the Tall Ships Festival last month. 😀
 Alex, “Marianne”, and “Margaret” played the music for the wedding of some friends of ours on Saturday.  “Marianne” played the piano, and Alex and “Margaret” played the violin– it was beautiful!!!  Alex and Marianne love to make music together– that is actually how they met– her accompanying him for a song at church. 🙂
In case you are wondering, no, they are not engaged…yet… but they are prayerfully heading that direction.  🙂
So there you have it. 🙂