July 27, 2009
from: "Jane Austen's Sewing Box"
It was a moment of romantic weakness.
Asked whether I could sew a period costume, I became completely consumed in the moment. Regency period how ardently I love and admire you. I adore your beautiful gathers and drape. Swoon. Then when I came to, I had apparently agreed to sewing an Empire gown.
Given my period sewing experience is limited to one 1940's retro apron, it wouldn't be unreasonable to see trouble looming on the horizon.
Luckily I have been given a terrific pattern to sew from. Its by a company called Folkwear and I have to say that the instructions look very good. The pretty dress has a narrow bodice gathered on to a slim A-Line skirt front and side panels and has a full gathered skirt back. There are little short sleeves with a number of variations. I do note - and not without a little trepidation - that the long skirt can be varied to include a train.
Much to do in the coming weeks.
The Empire gown has quite a low cut neckline and is fitted high up under the bust, so to ensure comfort ... and modesty ... I will need to start by making a toile. This will give me the opportunity to check the fit and make any alterations using some economical calico.
I will also need to start channelling my inner Regency-era sewist.
[Fade to dream sequence, which seems to include Colin Firth]
Mr. Darcy: So this is your opinion of me. Thank you for explaining so fully. Perhaps these offences might have be overlooked had not your pride been hurt by my honesty...
Hoppo Bumpo: My pride?
Mr. Darcy: ... in pointing out that sewing a dress for someone to wear to a ball in mid-August ... is ambitious ... if not a completely crackpot idea. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your circumstances?
Hoppo Bumpo: And those are the words of a gentleman. From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.
Mr. Darcy: Forgive me madam, but weren't we talking about sewing .... and aren't you married to Mr Hoppo Bumpo?
Er, yes. Back to sewing.
Filed under: Sewing