I made and wore this last fall for Maggie's Regency wedding, but despite turning out well it's been hanging around unworn and unloved since then. I finally got the chance to pull it back out and give it another spin around the dance floor for Gaskells last weekend.
You might recall this beautiful cotton sari from one of my last ebay sari buying binges. The fabric is a beautiful cross weave of orange and wine threads, which gives it a subtle sheen that changes depending on the light. It's a bit odd to photograph, because the color comes out completely different in every shot! In person the color shift is much, much more subtle. It's covered in a small repeating block print, with a pretty floral border all along the bottom edge.
|Wine colored warp threads and bright orange weft threads.|
Finding matching thread was a bit of a challenge. Which part of the fabric do you even attempt to match?
|The left thread matches the warp strands, the right one matches the weft,|
and the middle seems to match the overall color mix the best.
I settled on doing a fitted back with a gathered front and 3/4 sleeves. I dressed my Uniquely You in my stays and some rice boobs (a la Lauren's Bean Boobs) and got to work draping.
I ended up with a fitted underlayer on the front of the bodice, with a second layer gathered over the top of it. All the pieces are on grain, with the exception of the side panel, which was cut on the bias.
|Late night mock ups are no fun for anyone.|
|No idea why the front is longer here. Pretty sure it got chopped off later.|
I knew I wanted to use the border for the lower edge of the skirt, and for the bottom sleeve edge if possible too. Besides looking pretty, doing so allowed me to use the selvedge edge at those spots, saving me from having to hem all that nonsense. That was an excellent bonus feature since I was on a major time crunch to get outfits done for both Curtis and I in time for the wedding!
|Making use of that border and the selvedge edge.|
|Not a fan of the jumper look, good thing I'm adding sleeves!|
I had wanted the lower edge of the bodice to go up in back rather than being level all around, but was limited by the width of the sari fabric. Had I raised the back waistline further, the hem of the gown would have been far too short in the back!
Underpinnings for this gown include a shift, my gravity defying corded stays and a petticoat with tucks (woefully un-ironed in these photos, sorry). I dyed my American Duchess Highburys a soft yellow to complement the gown. For the daytime wedding I wore my giant blue and orange silk bonnet, but for last week's evening ball I turned a scarf into a turban and stuck a feather in it.
|Gravity defying indeed.|
|Bonnet for daytime...|
|Turban for night!|
I love this gown! It's comfortable, lightweight and cool, and doesn't require too much in the way of crazy underpinnings. Hell, I managed to get into my stays and fully dressed almost entirely on my own for the ball; I only needed a bit of help with the last few hooks and eyes up the back. I have a feeling this dress will be one of my staples whenever I need something pretty and easy!
And what the hell, how about another Regency Ladies Wedgie Society shot? :P
|So hard being a lady, ya'know?|