By Mary Johns
Abi has been hard at work making an evening gown for this years Christmas Carol play at the Old Packing Shed. She is playing Kitty, nephew Fred’s wife. This fabric is a mystery fabric, but it’s a play, so it works! The bodice is flat lined with horsehair, then lined with polished cotton. It has the lining set in and stitched by hand on all edges. We have previously set the play sometime in the 1830’s, but this year we decided to make anything new in the 1850’s, so this gown is 1850’s-ish.
Here is Abi working hard on the flounced skirt. It’s turning out lovely!
We are re-using Christmas Past, with some minor alterations. This is a gorgous silk fabric that I love so much! I made this about 4 years ago, and even though I draped it on the girl that played Christmas Past that year, it has fit all 4 of the girls that played her with just a little taking in and out here and there. It has a skirt set on a waistband, then the front is set onto the waistband, overlapping in the front and wrapping towards the back. It then goes up over the shoulders and drapes down in the back. It has a hook to hold the two panels together, then 5 snaps under the hook. I used the hook at the top so that it can’t just pop open.
I am making a regency ensemble for Fair Young Girl (Young Scrooge’s Fiance) to wear. Fair Young Girl is played by Lizzy Riley this year. We don’t have a whole lot of regency clothing, so I started from the inside out. Here is the chemise, front and back. Just out of some plain cotton.
Here are the short stays. They are made with three layers. The outside layer is a somewhat stretchy embroidered cotton/something blend (I know, not strictly accurate, but it looks great, and if anyone is close enough to know, then there is a problem!), the interlining is a sturdy linen canvas, and the lining is a plain white cotton. It has bones in the center front, on either side of the eyelets, the two bones at an angle next to the bust, and one bone in the side. It has two gussets at the bust, and is quilted right under the gussets to help keep it flat there. It has a drawstring at the bottom to help snug everything into place.
This is the bodiced petticoat. The bodice on this helps smooth the stay line, and also keeps the petticoat from slipping. It is just the dress pattern without sleeves. I used the Sense and Sensibility Patterns for this set of regency wear. I’m hoping the neckline isn’t too high on this, but I’m doing a crossover bodice on the dress, so I think it will be ok.
Stay tuned for progress! We have done the fittings for the other evening gown (teal taffeta), and for Mrs. Cratchet (blue cotton reproduction print), and we still have the regency gown (of yummy burgundy and cream striped cotton) and spencer (green wool). I have also loaded all the pictures to start the tutorial for the frock coat, so that will be coming soon too!