Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Living in the past: One ripped seam at a time.

Lately I have begun to do something so very Regency-eqsue; taking apart an old gown and making it up new.  Though, this time, instead of making it up new to follow fashions or pretty-ing it up, I did it because my skill and knowledge so drastically increased (compared to a couple years ago I feel).  The first thing to get taken apart was Ol' Faithful.  Y'all might remember Ol' Faithful as the gown I wore the first event I ever went to with The Doctor.

100 Years on the Ohio, 2010

Learning how to shoot a longbow, 100 yrs 2010 w/Mrs. Cooper

Preparing to mutilate cupid!

Shown here with the first Spencer I ever made, at Rock Castle

The gown itself wasn't BAD, and actually went through a first step transformation; at first the bodice had complete lining and a hanging skirt lining, which I cut out to more appropriately portray the sheer gowns worn with the proper under things, and changed the sleeves which were much too short in its first incarnation. It was also back closing with hooks and bars, and not the best at staying closed..

Not a great photo of the gown, but I am wearing it after I cut out the lining but before changing the sleeves.

With the new longer sleeves added here.  This was me, freezing my butt off and giving an Undressing talk at Muster on the Wabash.  Not ideal climes for getting naked.

Then, over the winter, I purchased the most wonderful book in the world, which has been my inevitable downfall: Costume in Detail.  If you do not already purchase this book, BUY IT NOW. GO. AND. BUY. IT. I poured over the pages like a hungry bum starved for inspiration and then I got thoughts...wonderful shiny thoughts about taking apart my white ball gown to scrap the fabric to remake Ol' Faithful, since they were both made out of the same wonderful 2 dollar a yard fabric.

Lets all have a moment of silence for the first ball gown I made for 1812. She did her job well. And continues to in another incarnation.

I finally settled on this gem.  

I unfortunately do not have any in progress photos, as it was made before I decided to start this blog again.  I spent FOUR. DAYS. hand rolling the double flounce at the hem, and I wanted to kill myself at the end.  I also cut down the train CONSIDERABLY, but it still has some length.  I have given though to shortening the train from the top back, as it doesn't really follow the fashion pertaining to the garment.  I also didn't do 4 draw-strings at the neckline, there was really no need to.  I ended up doing only one, for time's sake and sanity, and since I draped the pattern on Abigail I had to sort of wing it, my draping skills are not very good.

Some pictures RIGHT after she was re-made, close enough to "in progress" since you get details shots.

Full body with sleeve detail shown. Don't mind the unwashed hair.

View of the train, and sleeves.

Back detail, and yes I have since fixed that annoying back issue.

detail of the front.  See how sheer? Mmmm

Here are some pictures of it in action, Ol' Faithful re-vamped and looking stellar, if I may say so.  Also, shameless vanity stroking.

At Whickland Estate shown with my super amazing warm Pelisse.  More on it later.

At Kalamazoo with the amazing beautiful Samantha of Couture Courtesan

At Whickland Estate, photo taken by the amazing Mark Selter

As you can see, the sleeves don't get very much viewing..which is alright by me.  Stay tuned for another post about me remaking the olive green archer gown! (Still in progress, too!)


  1. Well it's gorgeous! Love the eye candy!

  2. Aaaaaaaaand Costume in Detail is on the Amazon list :-)

  3. Thank you, Robin! And seriously, Ams, get the damn book. GET IT.