I’ve been busy with Victorian fashion for a while now. The 1870’s Bustle Hat remains in process and I’d like to have it finished this weekend. The crown is ready to be sewn to the brim, then it’s a matter of playing with trim.
The Victorian corset fitting should also be completed this weekend. I’m looking forward to having a Victorian corset that fits and is comfortable.
But I feeling the need for a bit of a break from bustles and bodices and under-skirts and over-skirts and all. So as much as I want to take it, I’m going to wait to take the Bustle Dress Class until later.
My original inspiration for going into this was a fascination with the Regency, a case of Austen Fever, and a desire to try and re-create garments from that period. Now I’m feeling the urge to get back to it. (Nessa, this one’s for you!)
Coincidentally, the Oregon Regency Society, of which I am a proud member, is having a wonderful season of events including a major “do” happening on my birthday in May. (More on the festivities in an upcoming post.) So it looks like a good deal of hand-sewing is in my future. Which is good, because my machine could use some thorough cleaning and adjusting. I’ll make my stays first, though – I’m relinquishing to modern tools for the bulk of their construction but will do as much finishing work by hand as possible.
When I started looking into Regency dress, my first urge was to follow the fashion from 1800 to 1815 or so. But I’ve given it a good deal of thought and it seems more reasonable to acknowledge how a woman of my age would have dressed at the time. She wouldn’t have been following the latest fashions, as least not an average “elderly” unmarried or widowed woman. She’d be dressed in fashion from an earlier time, not in competition with the young women seeking first husbands. So I’ve revised my plan and am looking for styles from 1795-1800. One happy outcome is that the styles from those years will look better on my curvy body than the more columnar shapes that follow.
And dressing earlier in the fashion timeline means includes changing from long Regency stays to transitional stays.
Yay! I think.
I already have patterns for the dresses, caps, reticule and spencer, and the fabrics for each. The chemise, pantalettes and underdress/slip are all finished. I have a period-correct straw bonnet that just needs a bit of ribbon. I have a vintage , though not antique, Kashmir wool shawl. And I have two pair of pointed-toe flats; one pair in white and one in red.
I went through my Pinterest Georgian/Regency collections, other Pinterest boards, and museum collections. Looked at fabrics and fashion plates. And developed a working collection of images from which to plan my Regency wardrobe.
I’m having cataract surgery tomorrow, so will be taking a “down day” from sewing while my right eye heals up.
In the meantime, here are my inspirations.