After having fallen in love with the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (which was after having fallen in love with the book), my sister asked me to sew her a regency dress.
I decided to sew a regency dress for myself, too.
I browsed the internet for so long that I really don't remember anymore in which order I found out about the things I found out about. The result was - the best fabric to use, from what we could easily get, would be a cotton saree. Period.
Our source was this Czech shop:
My sister bought the sarees. I made her warm knitted socks in exchange for it.
She also bought the Sense and Sensibility pattern. Her dress is going to be just like that.
Mine is not. I always have to complicate things for myself...
You see, I'm not happy about the back of that dress. And not particularly happy about the shape of the neckline either. I want a slight boatneck neckline. Don't ask me why.
And as for the back, I fell in love with this style in the Metropolitan Museum.
See the interesting way the sleeves are set in? It's something called "grande aissette" or "assiette". (I don't speak French, but from what I could gather, it'd probably rather be "aissette". I think.) (EDIT: It's assiette) It dates back to medieval times, and it's strongly connected to the times of custom-fitted clothing. No wonder. I'm quite sure this project will involve a lot of custom-fitting. That's going to be fun and take a lot of time. Guaranteed.
Of course, with me wanting a boatneck neckline, the back pieces can't be so narrow, can they? Still, I love this straight-sleeved, grande-aissetted style much more than the puffed sleeves normally associated with Regency.
I also love the neat hand-sewing on that dress in the Met, and the colour. I can try at the handsewing, the colour maybe next time... because this is what I've got to work with now:
This was my first idea of what it's going to look like when it's finished - notice I forgot all about the boatneck:
"Háčky + očka?" means I contemplate closing it with hooks & eyes. I'm not keen on buttons, especially not buttons on the back of my dress. On the other hand, I'm not sure if hooks and eyes are any better in terms of ease of closing. Any other ideas? (Still, they're surely better in terms of comfort when sitting and resting my back on the backrest of a chair.)
"Šňůrka" means cord.
Here's my second, more refined draft, including the boatneck this time:
I'm completely happy with the way the back looks on this concept. I'm still not so happy about the front. It might be just my concept-drafting skills, or it might be something inherent to the design. What do you think? Should I drop the boatneck idea in the end? (Please, say "no"...) Or is there something wrong with the way the front is gathered? I think it's the case, but, for one, I don't think I'd like a plainer look, with all that business in the back.
There's more to be said about the plans and ideas I have for this, but I'll leave that for next time.