Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sense and Sensibility drawstring dress and Washington Regency Society's Tall Ship sail

It was that time of year again! Time for a fabulous picnic and lovely sail on The Lady Washington. Taking place in picturesque Port Ludlow, Washington.

We decided to make a weekend of it and reserve a hotel room in Port Townsend at Manresa Castle. Saturday was the picnic and sail and Sunday was for shopping in Port Townsend. I have been trying to build a nice Regency wardrobe so I have choices for events. I made two new dresses, one new spencer and a silk bag hat.

For the sailing day I made Laughing Moon's drop front gown (again) in a paisley print cotton shirting. I have a total love affair with this pattern going on. It makes such a pretty dress! I had been looking at Regency fashion plates to get some ideas for an easy spencer to make. I noticed some really cute open front spencers. I decided to hack my Laughing Moon spencer pattern and create my own open front pointy spencer. I used a pretty navy blue linen from Since I knew this was going to be hanging open I bought enough linen to line the front bodice pieces. The rest of my lining was some basic black cotton. I used some scraps of checkered silk taffeta and broke out Butterick 6397 Making History hat pattern. I used view A the Edwardian bag hat pattern. It went together easily.

On to Sense and Sensibility drawstring dress pattern!


The Elegant Lady's closet. Drawstring dress AKA round gown. Several sleeve options. Sizing is somewhat flexible. Also included is a crossover bodice pattern.

Fabric, size and alterations:

This was basically going to be a wearable muslin. I had some ok quality pink striped shirting in my stash. This dress is hard to muslin because of it's flexible sizing in the front, but he back is fitted so that's what makes it a bit tricky. I went by my bust measurement and made the size 22.

I did zero alterations. NONE. Yeah...... how often does that happen. The only thing I will do differently is lengthen the skirt. Oddly it runs a bit short even for me (5ft 4in).


I was a little baffled by the front only lining pieces (flaps). Not sure their purpose so I asked around. They help hold the front of the gown in place. Mine are just pinned closed. And yes, they really do help hold the gown in place.

I chose the 3/4 sleeve. It is nicely fitted without being super tight. If you normally have to do a full sleeve adjustment I would make a muslin of the sleeve and check for fit. I have average middle aged lady arms and didn't need one.

Setting in those sleeves.....I normally don't have sleevil issues. I do ok with them. This pattern has sleeves that go farther back onto the shoulder area. There is a weird little angle in the back shoulder area that you have to finesse. Now S&S does warn you in the instructions about the sleeves since this is based on a period dress. So I finessed the hell out of them. There were a few ripped seams and minor frustrations but I did get them sewn on. I still feel they are not perfect but I do not find them awkward or uncomfortable.

Final thoughts:

I like my dress! I didn't have any problems with the instructions. Other than the sleeves I found this dress easy and quick to make. You may have less finessing in the sleeve area if you go with the short puffy version. Gathers can cover a multitude of sins. ;-) You will really want the back of the dress to fit correctly. If it doesn't it may not be comfortable to wear. This pattern is in the running for a ballgown. It's got some competition with another pattern but.......I haven't made a choice yet. I will muslin the other gown first. This would also be a great dress to use under a open robe. If I did make a ballgown out of it I would also make an open robe. Just to gussy to up a bit. I highly recommend this lovely little pattern!

On to the pictures!

 Saturday Sail! Laughing Moon 126 gown and 129 spencer (hacked)

 The lovely Countess!

 Adventure selfie!!

 On the lady Washington for the evening sail.

 The Hawaiian Chieftain in the distance.

 Exploring Port Townsend wearing the Sense and Sensibility gown.

 At the end of the day I asked the Countess to take some pics in front of Manresa Castle. S&S dress with my hacked LM 129. 

Well summer events have wrapped up and now we move on to fall! My boys are back in school and the house seems too quiet. There will be some more Regency sewing on the way and also planning for VicFest 2018. Time flies by so quickly! Thanks again for stopping by and reading my little blog!

Instagram multi shots!!! ;-)