Saturday, February 2, 2013

Really Retro to Regal Regency

I don't normally rework existing pieces of clothing but I just couldn't resist picking up this $9   1970's wedding dress that screamed at me REGENCY!!!!  I don't own anything Regency although the fabric stash includes two matte silk saris that "one day" will be dresses.  There is an event in two weeks that I want to attend -- The Cyprian's Ball, and I have nothing to wear. This may be the year I will make up a wardrobe.  It is probably,  after the huge sleeves of the 1890s, my least favorite period.  I don't think my body is as well suited for it as for more Victorian clothing.  Or maybe I just like corsets too much.

 Above is the dress.  There is very sweet trim on which I shall remove for another project.  The fabric is a silk blend thin taffeta which is lined. Although most Regency dresses are flowing silk, cotton or linen fabrics, I have found several examples of taffeta.  Mostly these were very formal gowns.  The dress fits except across my upper back - I am a bit broad shouldered for my size.  I should be able to fix that with fabric I take out of the front of the bodice.  Sadly the original train was used as a table cloth and went missing over the last several decades.

There are very nice pin tuck details on the bodice and at the bottom of the dress.  To get a more correct silhouette I will have to add fabric.  I will be going for a look similar to the dress at the top of this post.  And I will be able to do so by adding silk from another deconstructed wedding gown that has been sitting in my fabric stash for a long while.  I also have wonderful satin slippers I bought a while back from Payless Shoes for $3 on clearance that will work perfectly for this era.  Yah for budget costuming!

Here is a close up of the pin-tucked fabric and the original 1970s trim.  The pin-tuck fabric is on the bodice, sleeves, and at the hem.

 Here is  a photo of the dress and some lines I added to show where I am going with this.  I pondered the neckline which right now is high with a stand up collar, and with outside input and much thought I decided to lower it and square it.  I will add the stash fabric so I will be able to get more fullness in the back.  A very generous coworker loaned me her embroidery machine to do eyelets in the back so I can lace rather than button the dress up.  This will help in regards to how much fabric I need to add to the back to be able to close the upper back.

Here is where I am:
 1.  Washed dress
2.  Removed all the trim
3.  Removed zipper
4.  Removed top from bottom.
5.  Opened the single seam (back) on dress bottom

Here is what I have to do:
 1.  Dismantle the rest of the stashed wedding dress for additioanl fabric
2.  Lower neckline
3.  Add fabric to back
4.  Assemble new skirt
5.  Machine embroider lacing holes in the back of bodice
6.  Attach the skirt/bodice.

1 comment:

  1. So exciting! I did the same thing a few years back and it turned out great! I didn't remove the zipper, though. Just covered the bodice half with a row of faux buttons and then added a train with snaps. Historically accurate construction wise? Pffft, no! Looks the part? Oh, yes! I can't wait to see you finish yours! :)