Regency Wardrobe Planning for the Jane Austen Festival, July 2011
January 25, 2011
My but don’t I have a lot of work to do. My best friend Maggie moved to Tennessee this past December, and has already been enjoying the wonderful Regency era re-enactments and events that take place in that part of the country. I am due her a visit, and as we love ever so to dress up and look pretty together, we thought to combine this visit with the Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove, in July of this year. And, of course, I haven’t a thing to wear.
Well, I do have ONE thing, my stays+petticoat, so at least the foundation is taken care of. As for the rest, here’s my list, (some things I already have or can buy):
Day Dresses x 2
Bonnet/Hat x 2
Evening Headgear (a turban or beret of some sort)
Shoes (2 pairs of flats, one for day, one for evening, or a single pair if I can find them to work for both)
It will be July in a high-humidity environment (which I’m not used to), so I will be costuming for heat, and taking into account sweat (ew), ventilation, but also the possibility of cooler evenings. I will not be making any spencers, riding habits, pelisses, or robes, though, and will rely on shawls.
I want to explore the changes to dress in this time period by doing one day gown from the 1790s, and the other from a later period, perhaps the 1810s. No thoughts on the evening gown yet, although a vague idea of wanting it to be goldy shiny sparkly, like this one:
I’ve saved a few fashion references, but to be honest Regency isn’t my forte, and the items I do love dearly are all for cold-weather wear, /sadface. So I will have to be crafty.
Mid to late 1790s
1790s – like the full skirts, and their straw hats
This is an evening gown, but I like the interesting asymmetrical drapey thingy, although it’s probably too much for hot summer days.
Simple, but with a cool hat and jacket.
Her jacket looks almost 19teens ish. These fashion plates aren’t necessarily what I plan to recreate. I’m getting a feel for the different sort of things in the Regency, to try to veer away from the everyday normal expected stuff.
I did go lurking about for fabric tonight and was out-of-my-mind gleeful to have discovered a large variety of voile (my favorite fabric!) on massive sale, under $3/yard!, on Fabric.com, and even better, dotted swiss voile (my even favoriter most favorite fabric ever!) for that price too….so…naturally…ordered quite a lot of that. :-). So having the fabric is at least a start, right?
Striped voile, OMG OMG OMG – I’m seeing 1790s for this, and I got enough to probably make a petticoat for a 1770s/80s costume too.
Dotted swiss voile, white w/ pale yellow dotties.
Dotted swiss white on white. I love this fabric so much because of the wonderful texture it gives to a normally “just white” gown. It’s subtle.
As I am making two day dresses, I wanted one that would be mostly white, but then the other one to be a print. This is voile (yay!), and maybe the print is too big? We shall see, but I think it may be quite lovely. If it doesn’t work it shall just have to be made into a summer dress of a more modern variety 🙂