I love sewing--any form of needle and thread makes me happy.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Jane Austen Project -- Finished!

Well, the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, Ky was held this past weekend and daughter and I made it there in style--in an SUV not a carriage.  The Festival was full of sights and sounds and a veritable feast for the eyes.  We only went on Saturday, but we got to see a duel, the Navy, a Regency Fashion show, catch the Promenade, visit the shoppes,   have a lovely European tea and more.  Our  tea time overlapped the Promenade so we were not able to take part or see it all.  I'd say at least 3/4 of the attendees at the Festival were in period dress.  It was wonderful to watch and be a part of.   On to the sewing now.

As stated in my prior post, I used Sense and Sensibility's An Elegant Lady's Closet Pattern. For my daughter's dress I used a size 26D and graded the sleeve up to a 28.   (The pattern size is 6-26DD.)  The pattern is designed to be worn over stays, a type of corset, but I had read in an old review that a good minimizer bra would work as well. We went with the bras, but the silhouette was a little off compared to other ladies there.   Her dress is sewn in a blue floral cotton from Fabric.com.  Cotton is so friendly to sew on and it took a press so well, too.   

The drawstring is ingeniously done:  it runs under the dress front in the seams, comes out the side seams, and ties in the back adding to the fullness of the gathers there.  The dress front is rather flat and the bodice front is gathered on the inside neck edge by a drawstring of ribbon. 

My dress was done in a size 20C with a size 24 sleeve.  The sleeves run small and tight I found.  I did raise my neckline about a ½ inch, as the muslin was so low.  The "real" dress didn't need it after all.   My dress is made from a gold cotton lawn also from Fabric.com

I also sewed up reticules, small purses, included in the pattern to hold money, keys, and of course, cell phones.  I forgot to get pictures, though.  Rats.  Mine is done in a brocades with yellow and gold tones.  My daughter's was made of navy blue twill that I embroidered a ring of pale blue flowers on.  Just a simple lazy daisy stitch but it echoed the flowers of her dress and hat beautifully and looked charming.

The hats.  After looking at so many photos of past Festivals, and seeing so many bonnets in use, I decided it would be fun to wear bonnets as well.  After all, it's July in the South--a girl needs some shade.  The bare straw hats were purchased from different vendors on the internet then I trimmed them out one evening with goodies we got at Joann's. 

My daughter's bonnet is trimmed with an ostrich feather, a sprig of forget-me-nots and ribbon.  There's a small bee charm in the center of the ribbon "flower".   The other side features a simple flat bow. 

My bonnet has the white ribbon, a dragonfly on the front brim, and 3 white roses on the back brim.  They were surprisingly easy and fun to do; a combination of sewing things on and hot gluing.  Where would we crafters ever be without our glue guns!?

It took a month of sewing and prep work, because I actually made muslins to try the fit this time, but it was so worth it!  She was so delighted all day by all that we were seeing and doing.  And she got to play dress up while doing it!  We had such a great time, we're already planning on going next year!


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