Wednesday, May 11, 2016

1815 Regency / Empire Attire

This post is way overdue to document my first attempt at Regency era attire. Last summer my husband attended the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and had been building his French impression over the past year. Although I did not attend the Waterloo event (I went to Amsterdam instead, so don't cry for me), I did put together a basic wardrobe because if you ever have an excuse to make a Empire waist dress, you make one!

I made a simple linen chemise using the Laughing Moon pattern and then I started work on a sheer muslin dress using materials that I had in my stash using the Laughing Moon's fall front pattern. My dress design was inspired by an original in the Kyoto Museum Collection.

Kyoto Museum Collection
I used a woven cotton for the inset front panel to replicate the insertion on the original.  I used the same woven material for the fall front bodice and trimmed the puff sleeve band.

To accessorize, I made a silk reticule from my bonnet scraps using a pattern from the American Girl's Book (pg. 265). I used leftover silk satin from my wedding dress to make the piping and self-fabric cording.  The interior is lined in white silk. I also made a silk ribbon to tie at my waist to break up the silhouette. I wore a coral necklace and gold lead hair pins that I purchased in Paris years ago.  For footwear I wore my bridal slippers made by Robert Land.  Overall, this was the atheistic I was going after.

What I was most excited about was my hair!  I am admittedly horrible when it comes to dressing my own hair. I've attempted rag curls and pin curls before in the past, with bad results.  This time I used bendy straws and IT WAS AMAZING.  No kinky ends, lots of bounce, even with my largely straight thick hair.
Ta da.