Saturday, 12 May 2012

Regency Dress #3 - Cutting, Stitching, Wearing



I knew this was an (over?) ambitious project when I started it, given my minimal dressmaking experience prior to this. But how hard can it be to make a dress? You have a pattern, you cut out some pieces, and then you put it together - like a jigsaw with sewing.

Only... turns out it's more like a three-dimensional jigsaw, with pieces that only approximately fit together, and seam allowances and slippery fabrics and only the vaguest idea of how it's meant to look. And it needs to fit.

Combined with the minor fabric emergency (which set me back by at least 24 hours), giving myself less than a week to finish this project may have been crazy. However, with the help of several late nights, stabbed fingers, and a very understanding husband, I managed to finish on Thursday night - just in time for the ball on Friday.

You might be interested to see the "matching" dress which my friend Emma made. We both used the same pattern, but the results are quite dramatically different!

emma-rachel


16 comments:

Stephanie V said...

Nice work. Hope mine turns out as well as yours.

Louiz said...

Looks fantastic, well done!

rosaria williams said...

Nice job! I guess persistence is the important skill here.

Pauline Persing said...

You did a great job. It is the result that counts, not all the blunders that occur along the way. Lots of life seems to be like that.

Joanne said...

You did a great job, especially since you had less than a week. I have only tried to sew my own clothes once and never finished the piece so I admire anyone who can do it.

Elizabeth Braun said...

WELL DONE! It's amazing how much difference another fabric can make to the look of a pattern, no?

christine said...

well done sweetheart - velvet's not the easiest fabric to sew neatly, you look lovely:)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You both look lovely and congratulations on seeing it through.

Jules said...

Terrific job - well done! (I do anything to avoid making clothes, unless doll size!)

Annmarie Pipa said...

both absolutely gorgeous! how fun to be going to a ball!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Johanna GGG said...

I am in awe - sewing is a mystery to me but I love regency dresses - I think you really need to go traipsing in some lovely english countryside in yours or just walk around bath in it

Rachel said...

Dressmaking is almost like engineering - you have to make something that isn't three-dimensional fit around something that is. You've done very well, especially since the fabric looks like crushed velvet, which is a real trial to stitch!

Amy said...

It looks like you did a fabulous job! Is that crushed velvet?? Super difficult to work with, so far I've only made dress-up dresses for my daughter with velvets and satins. Very slippery!! I love the rich colour!

Alice Braga said...

Congratulations on embarking on another creative adventure and seeing it through to the end. Both your dresses are just lovely! xo

Jeanne said...

Finally found time to search out all your "regency gown" posts and see how things turned out. It's beautiful!

When I was in junior high, 7th and 8th graders had to take one semester of home economics (cooking and sewing) and one semester of woodshop. It's hard to say which I was the worst at. I managed to sew a dress with one dart on the inside and the other on the outside and an upside down zipper.

And don't even get me started on woodshop.

Lady D said...

I think you did fab for a first go especially using a tricky fabric like velvet (I sewed a velvet skirt the other day and lets just say its not my fave fabric to sew). My first attempt at regency was an epic fail - although I managed to recycle it into a open robe. ;) Now I'm planning my 4th dress from the pattern. You know now you have to find another event to wear the dress to/sew a new one for....well that's what I keep telling myself anyway. lol

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