For our Regency stay in Bath I needed something for daywear. I had the evening attire, but apart from my riding habit, I didn’t have anything suitable. I had limited financial resources, but was able to put aside a few days for stitching – so the idea was to invest more in time rather than in the materials per se. For Regency that simply meant using cotton:-) A quick browse though the costume books and boards, and I set my heart on that lovely redingote from the Kyoto Institute of Fashion, all in white cotton, with pom poms and insane amounts of piping. Cotton fabric is cheap, so most of the expense would be the pompoms and the accessories – and so a decision has been made.
6m of plain cotton ( for top layer and lining) ( approximately £45)
66 pompoms ( all handmade in cotton by Gina B) ( £120)
piping materials – cord and bias cotton tape – 36 metres ( !!!) ( £20)
10 pairs of hooks and eyes ( £2.00)
cotton lace ( broderie anglaise) – £12
calico for patterning
Time – about 20 hours
I experimented with the patterning first, to create the collar and upper bodice pieces. I used first the dummy and once I had the basics in place, I put it on myself, wearing stays ( modern dummies have their busts in a very different position!)
The skirts and sleeves were easy, didn’t have to do mock ups from them but used my blocks – so far so good!
The tricky part was the piped elements – I have never done piping before, and although it is strange to embark on a heavily piped garment without prior experience, I do Like a challenge. So I read some instructions ( very good introduction on Historical Sewing!)practiced on a bit of spare cotton, and then whizzed all 36 metres of it.
that’s the first batch…
Then it was time to apply it onto the tabs…
tabs on the front panel of the skirts
took a few hours, that did, very boring hours… first the sirs, then the bodice, oversleeves and and cuffs…
It was at that point that I noticed that the slits on the hem, oversleeves and collar are well, let us say, distinctively feminine looking, and from that point on the redingote got a working name – The Pussy Frock….:-)
Next stage was to mount the piped elements onto the proper pieces… this stage had to be done all by hand, and it took forever. to sweeten the labour, a suitable viewing was required…. 🙂
2 episodes later, one side is done…
bodice piping mounted
The pussies on the hem….
Once all the piping was sorted and on, the redingote was assembled, lined, hooks and eyes added, belt added – and then the pompoms were sewn on:-)
and then it struck me – I might actually need a walking dress to go on top of my petticoat….. we planned to do some dance practice and redingote, lovely as it is, may not be the best choice to prance around the dancefloor…
a 4 metres of self striped cotton and 5 hours later I had a simple day dress sorted…
The proper hat was almost ready for Bath – almost, I had trouble with the cockerel feathers mounting so in the end I decided go go for a different bonnet – straw base decorated with ribbon s and flowers. I finished it later on – but still not happy with it, I am not re-thinking the feathers mount options….
still, for the time being we got this:-)
As for the layers – I am wearing a linen chemise, a long line corset, a petticoat, a day dress, stockings, shoes, hats etc…. quite a lot.
The whole outfit is surprisingly comfortable and the piping makes it quite heavy too. the best things is, when it gets dirty, you just wash it with no special care – after all, it is all cotton!
What I need now is a spencer, I think…. and a woolen pelisse for colder days.. .and another ball gown….. 🙂
clothes – Prior Attire;
boots – unbelievably comfy ones from American Duchess – when they arrived I suspected the heel will chafe – but after 3 hours of walking and 2 hours of dancing, my feet were snug and comfy – so a great buy!
umbrella – Sherri Light; I supplied the silk, Sherri covered an antique frame and added antique silk fringe. Love it!
stockings, ribbons and straw hat base – Dressing History
pompoms – Gina B Silkworks
photography –Pitcheresque Imagery