I know, I should be… doing something about the chaos in the flat, but I have to wait for N. to put up some shelves. Now that I have bought our tickets to yet another SZBB concert I need to do something useful. However, I can’t really go out to the kichen, and I can hardly move around the living room. So I can: 1. either start to go through Chris’s room without him being here, or 2: I can write something for the blog. Maybe it is time to continue the series on the regency dress?
I was about to write about the pattern. I probably delayed this, because it was NOT an all-out success story, but here we go. Last year, when we were preparing for the Georgian ball in Keszthely, I did a full regency attire. I even wrote about the underwear, but not the stays (I will make another pair of stays next year, I will write about them in detail then, okay?) As my habit I did a trial dress.
The first time in my life I was not using a pattern, not even as a base to start modifications from, but I „draped” on my dressform. It came out pretty well, and I did use the pattern to make Zsófi’s dress, and my two layered ballgown.
I love the two layered zone front regency dress style, and I also love the wraparound style in everything I wear (including modern, civil clothes), and I combined the two on my overdress I made out of an Indian saree.
However not having any help with the fitting hit me back and in use it showed some things in the dress that should be fixed. The biggest problem was that the front was too wide and the neckline kept falling off my shoulders.
When I saw that the American Duchess came out with a pattern with exactly the style I like I thought the big and wise costumers must know what they do.
I ordered the pattern, and when it was time I opened it… Back in University I wrote an essay on the difference in how the Europeans write a knitting patterns and how the British / American culture does it – a thing I constantly bump into while dealing with, let’s say the Drops patterns among others. Namely, that while the Europeans suppose that you know what you are doing, and give you space to use your knowledge and creativity, the Americans, and the brits like to tell you what to do… in every step on the way. My consultant back then said that I should examine other areas, to see if it is really a trend, and then I did not went further with the project… But now dealing with this pattern I see another proof that it is indeed a trend. I grew up learning to sew on Burda patterns, where you have to find what you want to copy in a maze of lines, had to copy those on a piece of see trough paper before you cut it… This pattern I took out the package was on a lot of huge paper pieces and I didn’t need to do anything else, but cut the size I needed… No I did not cut it (what if I want to make a different size later?), but copied the pieces on a see through paper. It said I don’t have to add selvages either (how they know what selvages I prefer to sew with?). I proceeded to cut the fabric and sew together the underlayer… Only to find out that it is way too small. Then I tried to combine copying a bigger size, and use my old experience on enlarging patterns to only to make a bodice that is way too big. I was glad I had cheap material from the ‘cheapofabricstore’ (née I Love Textile), but this was the point I lost my patience.
I knew that the pattern I made last year was not all that bad, O knew what needed to be fixed and how. In fact I was kind of enamored with how nice I managed to put the back together. So, I decided to dig out the paper pieces from the many layers of fabric that accumulated over it. But I could not find it. I did make some kind of order in the fabrics though, I packed them in boxes according to their types, but the pattern just did not want to come out from its hiding. By that time the event I needed the dress(es) were fast approaching. I had no other choice but sit down, and try to take the pattern off from the existing dress. The way our teacher at the Thecnical School taught us many years ago. It took me about an hour or maybe two at the most (while previously I tried to make the other pattern work for about two days, and spent another trying to find the old one). Now I had the pattern I needed, the fabric, I could start on cutting.