As I mentioned the last time I wrote, I recently decided it was time to pursue a second Regency-era dress, to wear to the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) annual conference, held this year in Louisville, Kentucky. You can see that post and photos of the initial design process and fabric selection here.
Now on to the promised Part Two. After settling on a style (modified court dress) and fabric, and having an initial fitting, my niece and dressmaker, Jennifer Shouse-Klassen, made a pattern for the bodice—the most crucial part to fit properly. She draped the bodice pieces on a dress form, then transferred them to paper, cut, and sewed them into a mock up.
Then I went back for a second fitting with the mock-up bodice (the cherry material was for fitting purposes only), and Jenni marked and pinned up adjustments as needed.
After I left, Jenni began the process of putting together and sewing the actual dress—or rather, two dresses: a lined gold underdress and a blue Dupioni silk overdress.
I love the gathers and edging of the gold underdress. And here’s the blue silk overdress with gold trim and decorative closure. Isn’t it beautiful?!
At the final fitting, some further adjustments were needed. (Perhaps I ate too many scones?) But Jenni made them skillfully and quickly—in time to pack up and take with me on the flight to Louisville, along with my old gloves and a new reticule and cameo from Etsy.
Here I am wearing the new gown at the Jane Austen ball a few days ago with friend Barbara, one of 800 fellow Janeites who attended the conference. I received many compliments on the dress, which I will be sure to pass along to Jenni.
Next time I’ll show you more photos and maybe even a brief video from the conference.
What about you? Are you a Jane Austen fan? Would you enjoy wearing such a dress?
Thanks for reading! I appreciate your interest.