1805 Ensemble

I promised an update on my 1805 dress, and here it is!

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The white dress under the spencer was made from the same not-so-endless stash of Hancock’s white Swiss Dot.  It’s done in an 1805 style, with a drawstring back closure and the bulk of the skirt fullness shifted to the back.  I redid the sleeves once for maximum puff, and I really like how it turned out:

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The dress was the easy part, though.  The spencer was quite a bit more of a challenge.

I had 3/4 of a yard of pale purple taffeta, courtesy of High Fashion Fabric’s sale rack.  I referenced a number of extant pieces, but eventually just went with what I could cut out of the fabric.  I have a tiny little pile of scraps left, and I still had to the cut the cuff and collar facings from another piece of silk I had!

I did screw up the sleeves pretty badly.  I cut them from the pattern given in Patterns of Fashion for a Regency riding habit.  The cuffs should have been about an inch wider, but that was fixable.  I did set them in backwards, not reading the instructions the first time around about the seam needing to be set to the back of the bodice, not at the underarm side seam or in front, as is usual for most sleeves.  Easy fix at least, but it does make the cuffs look a little funny.

Overall though, I’m quite happy with it!

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Next thing, fixing that front belt (it’s held shut with a safety pin in these photos!), making a real Regency bonnet (I was wearing a turban I eventually just got sick of dealing with), and fixing my 1980s EBay boots.  They had speed lacers on them, and I ripped my hem twice!

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