I’ve been pretty neglectful about updating my Regency ballgown costumes. Here’s a quick update:
Most of the necessary work for the ballgown is complete. What remains are the sleeves, the hem decoration, back bodice closure, and a good pressing. Normally, I finish the bodice completely before sewing on the skirt. But the skirt will need significant hand sewing and I have more time available for hand sewing than for machine sewing. A heavily hand sewn hem can’t be decorated until a hem line exists. So, I sewed on the skirt to get a proper hemline measurement.
Unfortunately, ivory silk does not photograph well at all. But the fabric, fit, and construction are gorgeous. The bodice is interlined in cotton. I finished off the edges by turning them under and whipstiching, being careful to catch the interliner only with the stitches so no stitching shows. I debated doing a liner in silk, but I decided against the additional bulk. I am sewing a Regency gown after all, not an Elizabethan. Light and diaphanous was the order of the day. The cotton gave it additional body and reinforcement. The ivory silk is a little sheer (I can’t wear black underwear!), which is totally in keeping with the fashion of the era. I’ll be wearing a petticoat underneath, but I think the lining on the bodice was a good idea. In case I change my mind and decide to add a silk liner as well, I have the silk liner cut and pinned.
I was planning on making a jacket to go over the gown, but the bodice looks so lovely that I’m not sure I can bring myself to do it. Also, I drafted the pattern myself, and it fits like a glove. A jacket could cover up shoddy work, but I don’t have any shoddy work to cover up.
The gentleman’s costume has suffered from a reduced priority level. I will be very impressed if I can get it done by Saturday.