Pattern, size, fabric:
Mantua Maker No. 1810-1 Regency drawstring dress. Multi sized. Fabric was a plaid cotton voile.
Size chosen : Large. My measurements in chemise, long stays, bodice petticoat-- 43-39(under bust)-43 hips.
I felt that the XL would be too big in the bust. Plus this was going to be a wearable muslin I figured I can make changes when I make the next one.
Here is the thing about this specific pattern. In order to see if it's going to fit you all those drawstring channels need to be sewn. It's a bit of work. So I thought if I just make the dress up as is I can check fit and have a not perfect dress to wear. Yay!
Very clear. Actually pretty darn bossy. This is not a complaint, just an observation. I do my own thing so I sewed it all by machine including the hems. The dress went together fine. PLEASE read all the instructions first though. In order to make the uber multi puff sleeve you have to do the maths and lengthen the given pattern piece. She gives you the formula to use. I always keep a calculator handy so it was no issue. You will also need to lengthen the skirt piece as well. But most of us are already lengthening, shortening or lifting our skirts anyways. ;-)
My thoughts and changes I made:
This is a good but labor intensive pattern. It is size adjustable so 1 dress could be made to fit several people. She recommends ribbon or rattail cord for the drawstrings. I struggle with super shiny ribbon and rattail. This is a me issue, not a you issue. If you want to run through a field of flowers in a satin dress trimmed with 900 yards of shiny satin ribbon well you do you baby! Have fun, that is what this is all about!
So I used 1/8 wide white twill tape I buy by the roll at Burnley & Trowbridge Co. The waist tie is white satin ribbon.
I used elastic in the sleeves. She wanted all drawstrings and I wasn't having it. Elastic can fit many sized arms without the constant adjustments of drawstrings. However washing and ironing this will be a bitch. My next one will be silk taffeta dry clean only thanks.
The neckline has 4 total sets of drawstrings. Then you have the waist ribbon drawstring. I had to have husband draw everything up and tie them off before I could really tell how this would fit. It took us about 5 minutes to accomplish this event. I realized if I would always need help getting in this dress and Mimi doesn't like that. I am a strong independent woman. So once we had them adjusted exactly where I wanted them I untied only the waist and easily slipped the dress off over my head. I knotted all the ties (except for waist) and top stitched the drawstrings in place at the shoulders. So this dress is not as adjustable but I can sure as hell put it on by myself. Just slip it over your head and tie the waist ribbon.
Alterations I will need:
The under bust/waist just barely meets at the back. I will make it a couple inches bigger. If you are larger than a B cup (D here) you will want to add a bit of length to the bodice. Otherwise the waist seam line will be at your mid bust. Mine is landing a little high. Tying the waist ribbon around the front helps. So that is another thing I need to change. Otherwise it really is a pretty dress. I want it made out of black silk taffeta. With those ridiculous sleeves. Regency Gothic, Northanger Abbey.
Other final thoughts:
I know a lot of people avoid her patterns because the cover art and few pictures are not that great. Maybe she has been doing this so long there is no interest in repackaging her product. I think that is a shame but... not my circus etc etc etc....
So after all my blah blah blah......I recommend this pattern. Not for a beginner, but anyone beyond that could have a go. Enter into this journey with inexpensive fabric you like but don't love. Plan on just making a wearable muslin. Have fun!
At the museum photo op.
Back view. Ooooooo that back waist is barely keeping it together!
Who wore it better?
Dress front. The drawstrings on the bodice panel are NOT adjustable, just for pretty.
Dress back, many drawstrings.
Shoulder where I topstitched the drawstrings in place.
The Lovely Countess selling her tomatoes....
Lady Rebecca and I trying to open the safe.
The Washington Regency Society