A while ago, I wrote a post about my planning for a new red/white regency dress. I since went fabric shopping for this project, and of course, found the perfect fabric for a completely different dress. I’m still going to make the white/red one, and already have a possible fabric choice, but it’s just a little too heavy for what I wanted, so I’m going to see if I can find anything better first.
The fabric I found was a lovely gray/blue dotted silk. It’s a bit sheer, and the color changes a bit depending on the lighting, and it was just so generally pretty that I couldn’t resist. I figured I could make two new dresses, right? After I’d bought it, I went looking for period dresses in a similar fabric, being sure I’d seen it somewhere, but I think that was just my imagination. I did, however, find a fashion plate a few weeks later which matches! I guess my intuition on period fabrics is improving. The plate is of a pelisse, not a dress, but it’s good enough for me!
The fashion plate, with a pelisse from 1808
And my fabric. The blue below is the lining. (because it’s a bit too sheer to do without and white lining didn’t do anything good for the color.
Look at how similar they are! It’s things like this which make the costumer-me very happy.
Because I hadn’t actually planned this dress yet, I went back to looking at original dresses and made a design sketch. I wanted a lot of gathers because the fabric lends itself to it so perfectly, with the only exception being the skirt front. A gathered round skirt looks good on many figures, but I’ve only got a small difference between bust & under bust measurement, and I have the suspicion that if I wear a front-gathered skirt I’ll either look like a shapeless tube or pregnant. I want a somewhat slimmer line, so the choice was made for a gathered bodice and skirt back, with smooth skirt-front. I also went looking for sleeve styles, and found some images of dresses with a double puff sleeve which looked both easy to achieve and pretty. Finally, I want to make detachable long sleeves, as most of my occasions to wear the dress will be evening, but the fabric seems a bit more like day-wear to me.
Two of my inspiration pictures for the sleeves.
The final design sketch for my new dress! Obviously, it will either be two long sleeves or none, but as they will be detachable I wanted to see both the with/without option in this image.
I’ve already started working on this dress, but I’ll show some pictures when the project is a bit further along.