Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jane Fest 2017 Regency riding habit and an open robe hack

I've been quiet lately. After such a busy summer I had a nice lull in costume activities. I've still been sewing though.

Jane Fest 2017 took place at the University of Washington this past weekend. This is the first but hopefully not the last Jane Fest. The turn out was really great! There was also a ball and those tickets sold out in about 5 minutes. There is a definite desire in our region for Jane but also for Regency costume events. The Washington Regency Society (WRS) and JASNA both had informational booths at the event. We are alway looking for new members and there was so much interest from the public that our booth was jumpin! I also participated in the fashion show. It was very well received, and wow there were a lot of people in the audience! Needless to say for such an attention whore I do get very nervous during fashion shows and the like. I'm sure it shows, but I am also trying to step out of my introvert zone and live a little. I figure if I can inspire even one person to follow their creative passion then my work has purpose. Now, on to sewing!

Regency Riding habit:

I have wanted to make a riding habit for quite awhile. Practicality had been holding me back. However when the fashion show line up arrived in my email I was tagged to wear a riding habit. I easily had 2 months to make it so I jumped right in. The real trick was finding wool in a bearable color and at a good price. Not as easy as one would think. Luckily I ran across some dark brown 100% wool suiting for a sweet price. One of my fantasy garments has been a brown wool hooded cloak lined with rich lavender duchess satin. It is one of my favorite color combinations. Once I purchased my wool I set about looking for lavender velveteen. Again, not an easy task because I was really looking for a particular shade. After looking around I discovered the perfect shade of lavender velveteen at Wm. Booth, Draper. I knew I would be using it as trim on my spencer and for my top hat only. I happily purchased two yards.

Patterns used:

Laughing Moon #137 Regency pelisse and spencer. View C with view B collar.
Sense and Sensibility drawstring dress.
Lynn McMasters top hat pattern.

Laughing Moon #137

A new release pattern. I normally wear a size 22 in LM so I decided to go that route. It made up easily and I had no issues with the instructions. I feel like this spencer runs a bit large. The bust is roomy (even for me). I used the non overlapping center closure and I can actually still overlap mine quite a bit. I left off the belt because my velveteen was pretty bulky for piping and though it did work on the spencer body for a small belt it looked wrong. I thought about making my belt out of the velveteen but then realized I didn't want a horizontal line of lavender cutting me off. On my frame (chubby) a continuous unbroken column of color looks more flattering. My advice on this pattern is choose your normal size and one size down and make a muslin of both. I think if I make this spencer or pelisse again I will give size 20 a try.

Sense and Sensibility drawstring dress: S&SDD

AKA my favorite! I am pretty much in love with this dress. It is easy to make and size adjustable. I have made 4 drawstring dresses since summer. You can make one in about 6 hours. The sleeves are a bit fussy but once you figure out the fussy bit they go right in. Since this was a riding habit I made a sleeveless jumper out of S&SDD. I added length and width to the skirt. My train is very short because trains suck in general. The pattern only talks about adding extra width to the skirt for the crossover bodice view. However I find that the skirt looks better on the drawstring dress if you just cut the panels the whole width of your fabric. It adds a bit more oomph to the finished product. On my first drawstring dress my skirt feels so skimpy.

Lynn McMasters top hat/riding hat pattern:

Who doesn't want a lavender velveteen top hat! Since I like fashion drama I used the men's stovepipe crown and the Victorian women's riding hat brim. I knew I wanted a hella tall hat with a small brim. This is not a beginner pattern, more intermediate. It goes together nicely. I did have to finesse the tip and crown to fit together. This caused me to even/smooth those areas out with extra mull. It was worth the extra effort. Since the pattern is unisex sized and no measurements are given I went with size large. My head is 23.25 inches so I did have to take some bulk out of the head opening. She does cover how to do that in the instructions. The hat is a perfect fit.

Open robe hack using Laughing Moon 126 Bib front gown: TNT (tried and true)

I decided to use my TNT laughing Moon 126 as my open robe. I had bought a beautiful sari and was dying to make an open robe but didn't feel like fitting a new pattern. Hacking this was simple. I used the front lining pieces that you tie together under the bib front. I traced off the piece and just re-drafted the neckline to my preference.  Then I added to the front for the closure. I used 2 hooks and eyes to close my robe. The back of the gown stayed the same except I didn't pleat the skirt fabric I just gathered it.

 The original piece is above my traced off and altered version.

Here is the original piece laid over my altered  bodice fabric. 

Since I had run out of fabric for my under gown I had to add sleeves to my open robe. I just used the sleeve from the LM pattern. The under gown was made from thrifted fabric. It is white cotton with a gold metallic stripe. There were some stains on the fabric I had to fussy cut around but it all worked out. I used my Sense and Sensibility drawstring dress as my under gown and just finished the arm openings with bias tape. Easy peasy.

A most fun time! Here are some additional pictures of our long but fantastic day.

 My green silk spencer and matching hat!

The lovely Countess and I before the fashion show.

 The Countess having a chat with Flat Jane.

 Flat Jane saying something scandalous!

 Or funny!

 Flat Jane selfie!

 The Countess, Lady Rebecca and yours truly.

 Always fun with the Countess!

 Dancing at the ball!

I did enjoy four dances even though my feet were killing me! It was a super long day but so worth it. There were a lot of people dressed up for the main event and the ball. My only words of advice ladies, leave the trains off for the ball. I noticed a few young ladies struggling with their trains and it was painful to watch. You don't want your pretty dress stepped on and torn, trust Madame Mimi on this. ;-)

Final Notes:

My turban was made using the Wingeo turban pattern as my base and then I just draped the rest and added some beads and feathers. My pearl jewelry was purchased from inthelongrun on Esty.