Thursday, March 2, 2017

Regency day dress (Laughing Moon Mercantile #126)

By arranging the Gustavian day event in Vaasa two years ago, Noora gave me a reason to make my first regency gown - so I finally did. She has been talking about how easy regency gowns are to make for probably as long as we've known so I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise that making a simple gown like this was quick and easy but I still couldn't help being positively surprised. Had I not worked on it a bit by bit in the evenings and mornings so that it took me a month or so to finish, I think the dress could have been done in much less time. It really had been too long since I could properly enjoy sewing so this gown really was a much needed relaxing project for me at the time, too.

The fabric was a remnant find from a local fabric store. I had seen it earlier there and hadn't bought it because at the time I didn't think I was going to be doing regency so soon but the second time I looked at it I couldn't stop thinking about getting it so I only had to ask for Noora's opinion before I could come to a decision. Looking back now I don't know why I hesitated so much because I think it's quite perfect for the era as well as a color that I love. ;)

Here you can see a close-up of the fabric, in a different lighting (indoors):

And later I even discovered an original dress that was made out of a fabric that reminded me of my find. Yay!

Knowing the fabric would make a lovely day dress, I simply started looking around for regency day dresses on the net and eventually found the following fashion plate (from 1801-1802), which became my main source for inspiration. 

Source: Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs via SceneInThePast.

I really like how the back side of this dress looks pretty similar to the fashion plate.

This was also my very first time using a commercial pattern for a historical dress. I had read a few positive reviews about the Laughing Moon Mercantile's stomacher front dress so I decided to give it a go. And yes, it was as great as everyone is saying. I only did some alterations to the pattern before making a mock-up and it fit perfectly. Construction-wise I deviated a bit from the modern instructions - although still making the internal seams on the machine - and added a third pair of ties to the middle of the closure in the lining (the pattern suggests only two pairs but I was afraid that it would cause awkward pulling).

To see other gowns made from this pattern check out Lauren's, Erin's or Dixie's lovely versions.

I would also like to thank to Mia for creating my lovely hair-do (as seen from the back above) and Noora for letting me borrow her chemisette, as I don't have one yet. :)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Second Gustavian Day in Vaasa, August 2016.

 Last August, a week after the picnic in Suomenlinna, it was time to travel to Vaasa, to have another picnic. We did not have the same luck with weather as the previous year, and so it began raining already on our way to the venue. But that didn't stop us from having a good time anyhow! 

After everyone had changed into their costumes, we had a picnic in the indoors of the Old Museum of Vaasa. 

The rain stopped for a while, so we had the chance to do some outdoor activities in the end, too! We had a croquet match...

...while others danced for a bit. The event is public and you don't have to wear a costume to come so there's some audience on the background.

But soon we had to get back in because it started raining again.

Of course there was an obligatory regency wedgie attempt, as usual. :)

So then we toured the museum again. I already took several photos of it last time so I didn't do that this time. But the grey room upstairs had the best light (most of the rooms are too dark for photos) as well as the most fitting furniture for the era of our costumes, so of course we took some costume photos there.

(Is anyone else bugged by the fact the table cover isn't ironed?! Because I am. (And yes, I realize the museum probably isn't equipped with an iron...))

And before it was time to leave, we also took some similar stroll photos as the previous year.

 There has already been talk about third Gustavian day event again this year, so I really hope it works out again! It has been such an easygoing and pleasant event with a chance to see friends that I really look forward to it already!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Williamsburg print gown photos (Fig Leaf Patterns 101)

In the first post about this gown I only showed you photos of the gown on my mannequin (and a teaser). I've worn the dress three time since then this year so now there are plenty of photos of it being worn. Since I already shared most of my thoughts about this gown and pattern in the original post, this is going to be one picture-heavy post. 

The first time I got to wear this gown was at an 18th century assembly in March. 

Now here's something I don't think I mentioned earlier - I'm not sure I like how short the bodice is at the front bottom - as you can see, it makes the waistband of the petticoat to show. Also, the skirt of the gown starts from really far at the side so the pocket slits (of the gown and petticoats) do not align, thus making the gown pocket slits useless. Actually, both this and the problem with the petticoat waistband could be fixed just by moving the start of the skirt towards the center front. If you ever plan to use this pattern, you might want consider doing that.

Interestingly, the pattern envelope illustrations do not seem to show the side back seams (or not very clearly anyway). I originally thought the bodice would have just four pieces + shoulder pieces (well, actually it does, because the seams next to center front are tucks). Not that it matters but I figured I should mention.

 And the second time I had the chance to wear this gown was already posted on the blog, at L'Amusette's annual masquerade ball. With a white petticoat, gown skirt hem down, and a black belt the look was a little later than the one above. In the first photo below you can also see how roomy the sleeves originally were (as mentioned in my first post about this gown)!

The gown has a train. Another interesting thing about the pattern is that I didn't have to shorten the skirt even though I'm shorter than average. But the pattern has the original skirt length so I guess that means I'm the same height, from waist down, as the original wearer.

And the third wearing was on the picnic that I also already blogged about. This time the skirt was drawn up with tapes again, to keep the train from getting dirty. I had also made new more tight fitting sleeves (!) so here's how they currently look:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Picnic in Suomenlinna fortress

My summer vacation was in August, which meant I could attend not only one historical picnic, but two! Noora, Mia and I had decided to do our Gustavian Day event this year in Vaasa again, since it went so well last year, so that was the other event I had decided to attend. I hadn't planned on travelling to Helsinki until very late but I was really happy I could make it since there was not only a picnic to attend but also half of my family lives in Helsinki now, which meant I had the chance to visit them as well during the week I spent there. Anyhow, I will make another post about the Gustavian Day but here are some photos from the picnic in Suomenlinna. 

The Olde Militia of Helsinki and the Fine Citizens of the Town, a group that I'm a member of, has it's 20th anniversary this year, so the picnic was held in celebration of that and it was supposed to be an informal gathering for the members. Dressing in your earliest period costume was encouraged (no matter how unauthentic it may be!), however, I no longer have my first gown, nor would have I had liked to wear it anyhow since I don't have a lot of chances to dress up.

There weren't that many of us on the picnic but it was a pleasant day anyhow! With less people it's (at least for me) easier to engage in conversation, when there's no need to bounce from person to another trying to catch up with everyone.

Mia (aka ohgloomysunday) wore a new outfit, striped jacket and petticoat. 

With the time limitations and sewing a new dress for Gustavian Day, I decided to wear my Williamsburg print gown, which was quite perfect for a summery picnic. 

During the train trip to Helsinki, I also managed to hastily decorate a bergère hat that I hadn't had use for earlier. According to weather forecasts, it was supposed to be cloudy and mildly warm, which would have been perfect for costume wearing, but it turned out to be a hot, sunny day, so the bergère was absolutely much-needed.

We tried to get photos without tourists but it's quite difficult as Suomenlinna is a popular tourist attaction in the summer. 

It was windy... this happened a few times during the day! ;)

And a few photos of different parts of Suomenlinna! I've often posted about events that have taken place on the island but I never shared that many pictures of the lovely surroundings there. The reason for that is that I have only been to Suomenlinna in winter when it's not at all as picturesque as in the summer. The last time I had been there in summer was actually in 2008 so it had been quite a while! 

The first photo is from the ferry, arriving to Suomenlinna. Suomenlinna is actually a group of islands, connected to each other with bridges, and the ferry takes you to the main island, Iso Mustasaari. 

Here's the Ehrensvärd museum, that you perhaps might remember from my earlier post (probably not :P). 

This post is really belated, again, but it seems to be the way blogging is for me now. I still try to make an effort to update this blog when I have the chance, even if I never catch up (wouldn't that be nice)!