Christmas Carol 2013, Part 2

I finally finished the regency gown for Fair Young Girl! Yay! I will admit, I cheated a little bit. I used the serger on the armholes and the waistline, instead of hand overcasting everything. I figured I used the machine to sew the dress anyway, so it’s not going to win any awards for being hand done anyway! The back of the dress has a little pad sewn in to keep the dress from falling into the small of her back. I used a diagram out of one of my books, and used ties on the inside to attach it so that we can remove it for laundering (as per the original). The dress has a overlapping flaps in the front to help secure everything. They are attached at the shoulders and sides. They just overlap and pin snugly.


The dress bodice crosses over at an angle. The one that goes under has an extra panel of skirt that extends past the bodice and ties at the side back (you can see the tape tie hanging in the photo above). This helps keep everything secure, and also prevents undergarments from showing when you walk. The top part of the crossover has 2 hooks to secure it in place.


Here is the spencer. I used a collar I drafted out of a book (I’m sorry, they are at work and I am at home, I will add the books I used later). I also altered the back, by adding some length to make little tails, like on a frock coat. Also used books for inspiration, but didn’t copy exactly. The spencer has ties at the center back that wrap around to the front and tie. They keep the back snugged down. The center front of the main ribbon closure has a hook and eye to keep it shut.


The tape ties are attached under the rosettes at the back.



Here is the whole ensemble, with the reticule, and the hat I trimmed.


The hat trim is pleated, then all the corners of the pleats folded in towards the center (which is slightly off center…oops! I now have a design element on the side instead!)



Christmas Carol 2013, Part 1

By Mary Johns

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!