CoCo 2015 or Bust – and a Regency dress begins.

Each year I see the photos and read the blogs and Facebook posts. Each year I think maybe I’ll make it this year. (Unfortunately, that thought usually occurs about 2 months before the whole thing starts which is more than a bit too late.) So I’ve made a decision.

I am going to Costume College next year if I have to walk there. (Although I’ll probably drive.)

It just so happens that I know the theme for next years College, so I have almost a full year to get the garments done. And I already know accomplishing that, for me, is pushing it. But if I’m going to go, I’m going to go in costume. Period.

The overall theme for CoCo 2015 is: Plucked from the Pages – Costuming Your Favorite Literary Character.

  • Gala: Handsome Heroes and Legendary Ladies
  • Ice Cream Social: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Tea: Nancy Drew Mystery Tea (I’d go just for this!)
  • Sunday Breakfast: Breakfast with the Bennets

Wait a minute…does that say Breakfast with the Bennets? Yes! The new set of Regency undies have somewhere to go and something to do – and with me in them, no less.

I am tickled pink, but I need to change my project for this. Breakfast means making a morning dress. I did a lot of research and reading about morning dresses yesterday. Every source said basically the same thing: morning dresses are a bit looser (for comfort), made of slightly heavier fabric (ditto), have a higher neckline, and are worn indoors unless, or until, it is necessary to leave the house.

They also mention that morning dresses were almost always white. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how I feel about all white. I crave color. Rich colors. Deep colors. White is going to be a challenge. But that’s what CoCo is all about, so I guess it’s fitting.

My image search for white morning dresses yielded…a lot of dresses. I’ve narrowed the choices to two:

Morning dress, Ladies Monthly Museum, October 1810

Of the fashion plate above, I really like the spotted dress. I like the bodice, although It needs a chemisette for more coverage. Pleats over the shoulder and around the back, and on the sleeves. Interesting fichu (I think that’s what it is) with points that hang below the tie at the waist. And a sleeve length that I much prefer over long sleeves. But that cap’s gotta go.

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts 1813 Morning or Domestic Costume

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts 1813 Morning or Domestic Costume

Having said that, I’m leaning heavily toward this one, mostly because of the Van Dyke trim (which I love, love, love) that runs all around edge and at the sleeve below the gathered wrist. The under dress can have a relatively high neckline and be extremely plain (aka relatively easy to make). The ribbon at the waist gives it a pop of color. And I can use a bit of that ribbon on the cap.

The next step is to find appropriate white fabric that I like, which is no easy task but I’m up for it. I think.

Just wait until you see what I’ve got planned for the Nancy Drew Mystery Tea. (Did someone say 1930’s tea dress?)

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6 thoughts on “CoCo 2015 or Bust – and a Regency dress begins.

    • I like layers, too – as long as I don’t end up looking like a Beluga whale in Regency dress. That top layer or over-gown or whatever it’s called (or maybe it’s attached?) requires a lot of handwork and is going to take some time. First I need to figure out how it’s constructed then see if I can find a pattern that’s close enough to let me fiddle with it until the upper back construction and the shape are correct. It’s going to be my biggest challenge yet. Exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.

  1. How Fabulous! I want the one with the seated lady too! And yes, her cap is wonderful…the other a bit too Wee Willy Winkie for my tastes! This would be like being your own life-sized American Girl Doll 🙂

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