Sunday, November 10, 2013

'Round and 'round the round gown.

Those of you that are into the Regency costuming as I am, know that the little pattern for sale in the margin of my blog here is one I have used for bib-fronts, reliably, for some years now.  It is a versatile little pattern, and using it to make a round gown has made it even more useful and fun.

I had a photo shoot set up for a book-cover project on Friday, which occurred without much trouble (only a small episode of the photographer getting stuck in the snow just at the foot of Timberline lodge, so we started a bit late, but it didn't deprive us of exactly the lighting we needed for the shoot, and we played with poses and ideas and light for about two and a half hours with our beautiful models in Regency costume in the middle of a bustling ski lodge.

Timberline has good lighting. It has 'castle' lighting. The lighting of a great house. Dark and cavernous with bright, stark white light that pours in from vast windows, and reflects off the rustic surfaces. The photos (when they come in from the photographer, I will post some samples.  The colours and light have such a beautiful old-world oil like quality, which is just what the object was.

For this shoot, I found a little model off of craigslist... a darling befreckled beauty named Robyn, who was absolutely perfect. petite, dark hair, clear light eyes and the sweetest, darling face. She was soft-spoken and just plain adorable.  I made for her one of my famous 'LWG's (Little white gowns), but instead of a bib front, I decided to make a round gown from the same pattern.  And here are some of the lower-quality images of Robyn in her finery.

Robyn's hair and makeup is completed, we retreated to the baby's room
so she could put on the silk clocked stockings I ordered from American Duchess.

This photoshoot turned into a domino-effect of costume
cobblery. I made the gown first, and seeing that it didn't work with
a standard push-up bra (the edges showed in the neckline),
I ended up having to make a bodice petticoat and a chemise as well.
I used the S&S short stays pattern, but added a skirt to the bottom.
The underwear were thrown together last-minute. Instead of double layering,  I sewed a single layer of cotton duck for the stays, and added boning channels with bias tape. The boning was doubled-up zip ties. I sewed it in a few hours, and added the petticoat skirt on in haste, using the selvage as a hem. It added the opacity we needed for the slightly sheer gown.  The chemise was an exercise in simplicity, I just took a rectangle of fabric, folded it into a tube, sewed the short ends together, cut out two arm holes and a neckline, and used that lace with holes to lace a ribbon through to gather it at the neckline. I hand-stitched all this at night in the past week or so in preparation (all while making my own gown for the Duchess' Dinner that happened last night.)  I had a pair of Khussa shoes in a burgundy that worked perfectly for this model, they don't show in these photos. But they were the pop of red I wanted to go along with the shawl. Long shawls are hard to find, so I merely bought two and sewed them together for this event.

The neckline is very delicate. I added a strip of sheer to the edge of the gown's
inner neckline and switched out the short sleeves from the pattern with some
quickly draped sheer sleeves instead. I like the little train. :)

I used a cheap poly net. This gown is no nod to period-correctness
really, but it was completely hand-stitched.

Some free-form shots taken in the light
of the snowy exterior.  Robyn and
Breck are working the Regency thing.

The lighting was so perfect. My phone camera
just didn't capture it very well.

Gazing longingly out the windows.

We moved some of the heavy lodge
furniture to take our shots.

The modern rug and drapes will be
edited out if needed.

Are they not so very sweet?

Sorry for the bad quality. The photographer
was getting much better images than I, obviously.
I may auction off the whole lot at some point. Gown, petticoat and chemise. I will post a finer photo of the gown when I get them from the photog, and also a more detailed post on how this gown is made from my pattern (which is for sale and download on the right margin).

As for my gown last night, I made it from stash materials. A set of IKEA black window sheers ($20 for about eight yards) and some fabric I had purchased for a bridesmaid's dress that was never used. I layered the light blue fabric beneath the sheer and hand-stitched the whole thing.

I added long sleeves to hide my hams. Notice how one breast is bigger than the other.
The perils of breastfeeding. LOL. My feather also decided to lop down to the side, it was
rising up and arching over my head at some point.  The Lady of Portland House
is the little doll-creature beside me with the spectacular hair.
The back.
I usually don't photograph well, but I like this photo. The only bad thing
is the way my stays and petticoat strap slipped. Grr.

I draped the pattern for this gown on my duct tape double made at the coast. I will also use it to drape my short robe I intend to make for the tea in December. It's a drawstring round gown embellished with black lace. Simple, but very cool with the undertone. I kept the inner gown hemmed to the top of my foot, but the black skirts have a slight train. Jewelry is a tiara I found at Goodwill, and a necklace given to me by a friend. My earring holes have closed, so I can't do earrings right now. but I will get them reopened eventually.  Anyway, I'll do a more detailed post on both round gowns soon.


Wendy, R.N. said...

The photos were lovely!

lululemon online said...

It fits like a dream, the color is true to the picture and fast shipping was a plus. I really like the fact that it came with a shawl so you don't have to do any extra shopping for one.


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