Sunday, April 10, 2011

Regency Musings

So, I'll need to put up pictures soon of the bib front Regency dress I started a couple months ago (first I need to actually take some!).  It was going to be for a Regency ball, but I ended up going to a Steampunk event that weekend instead, so I didn't finish it.  But I'm going to finish it for Costume Con and I have lots of scheming plans for it as well.

A few months ago, my favorite store for silks (Sewfisticated) had this gorgeous aqua silk.  Now, remember how I'd made a New Year's Resolution not to buy any fabric?  Well, I had been good and resisted the silk a couple weeks before, but when I went back and it was still there I had to buy just a yard.  I had to!  Turquoise and aqua are my colors!  It was screaming my name.  I couldn't resist the siren song.  So, I didn't know what I'd do with it at first, but I think when I got home I realized how perfectly it matched the tiny blue dots in my Regency dress.  So I thought, bonnet!  But then, I had an even better idea, last week.  I was already planning a couple of other bonnets, so why use this glorious fabric on just that?
The stripe is for the gathered crown of my bonnet! :)

So instead I'm going to make a little spencer!  The original plan was for short sleeves, but then I went and bought another yard (they still had it at the store!) and I'm thinking something like Lizzy Bennett's blue spencer from the good P&P.  It's either that or something like Jane's short sleeved one from that same movie.

I've found a few fashion plates with short sleeved spencers, but not in the exact style that I wanted, but I am totally drawn to these late 1790's plates.  I think I may take some of my cues from them.

1796 from here
labeled: a short-sleeved black bodice with black lace trim

1795 - its the one in the middle labeled:
Robe of coquelicot-coloured Irish poplin

from here
eta: I had the description wrong originally.  Since I can't see the back I'm not sure if this is more like a full open robe or just a short jacket.  Kinda interesting though!

So what do you guys think?  Short or long sleeved spencer?

All that's left to do on the dress is the sleeves and hem, but now I'm not totally happy with the bib front so I think I will redo that just a bit.  I think that will be pretty easy.  For sleeves I'm going to do a straight elbow length with the short puff sleeve spencer on top.

The other thing I need to do is create a better petticoat or bodiced petticoat and/or fix my short stays.  While I'm happy with how my long Regency stays turned out they are actually not the most comfortable thing to wear.  I made a short pair years ago from the Sense & Sensibility Simplicity pattern and they actually worked pretty well, but now they are far too big.  If I fix them I may just baste a "petticoat" to the bottom of them to make a little bodiced petti, we'll have to see.

All of this is time dependent.  I am so so busy it's not even funny.  I have so much to do and it's stressing me out.  Another problem is that I stay up until midnight getting stuff done and then when I try to go to sleep I can't shut my brain off worrying about getting everything done and so miss about an hour or so sleep at night.  It would be no use to try to be productive instead though.  *Sigh*  I just need to tell myself like I did while on study abroad in London that I can sleep in May.  Most of this stress will be over in May, let's not dwell on the fact that I'll have new deadlines at that point though...

Anyway, back to Regency plans!  I'm excited for how this ensemble is looking in my head at least!  Hopefully that will be realized in real life. :)

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