August 24, 2014

Orange Regency Sari Gown


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?

20 comments:

  1. I love it. What a gorgeous color. I really the love the way you show us your steps. Also, I need to revisit loren's bean boobs because my Uniquely You "Turbo Tits Tessie" is standing unused in my kitchen because she's pretty pointless (or should I say pointFULL) right now.

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    1. Holy shit the tits on those things, right? Curtis fell over laughing when I pulled my mannequin out of the box.

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    2. How do you figure out how much (many) lentils to use in the stocking. Pour them into a bra cup? I really want to do this.

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    3. I think I did something along those lines, then measured the result six ways to Sunday while it was on the mannequin. There's a bit of trial and error involved.

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    4. Okay. Good thing lentils are cheap. When I was in college as a theater major, we had a designer who used birdseed, for the same reason. I never actually needed a birdseed bra at that point so I didn't really pay attention.

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  2. You look beautiful! Great work. I'm so glad to see all these shots.

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  3. You look great in orange which is in my eyes a colour very hard to pull off!

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    1. Thanks! It's not usually my color, but this one works :)

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  4. I love this. I'm a big fan of rich vibrant colors in Regency fashions and this nails it. And you got some great portraits, that first one looks like a painting!

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    1. Thank you! If you like vibrant colors for Regency, you'll love one of my upcoming projects ;)

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  5. Such a striking color! I love your dress (especially paired with the turban) and it looks absolutely gorgeous on you!! Can't wait to see what's next
    Anneliese :)

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    1. Thanks :) That dratted turban actually took forever to get to look right, so I'm happy it turned out well!

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  6. So incredibly gorgeous! I might have to come steal this one from you!

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    1. Haha it's the wedgie pic that makes it irresistible, right?

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  7. Oh well now...holy monkey your sari dress is amazing!! I love the color on you! Your hair and turban are fabulous and your hat??!! SQUEE!! I love how you used that shade of blue! Very well done!
    Blessings!
    Gina

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    1. Thank you so much! I can't believe I didn't used to like orange :P

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  8. Beautiful!! Thanks you for sharing.

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