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Mantua Fail

December 8, 2011

So, after being so gung-ho to make up the mantua,  it all came to pieces.  I guess my sewing and math skills just aren’t there yet, especially when the pattern doesn’t actually appear to be to scale.  After much swearing and trying 3 different ways to enlarge it, I eventually had to give up, at least for the time being.  Maybe I can make it a winter project, especially if I get a dress dummy.

Not being able to finish the gown does leave me somewhat in the lurch as regards to an F&I wardrobe, since my one appropriate jacket was quite rubbish (hey, it was my first project).  I figured the easiest thing to do would be to whip up a bedgown.  It’s so hot these days, I’m sure I’ll be glad to keep my stays off as long as possible! After much dithering  I opted not to buy a pattern, but to try my hand at making a manteau-de-lit from Garsault’s L’art du tailleur, following  Marquise’s detailed instructions .  It took a  bit of fiddling, and the collar is the wrong way up so the (neatly finished) seams show, but everything looks alright and I am NOT redoing it (well, not any time soon at any rate).

My New Jacket

Not bad for four days!

While a bedgown is lovely for wearing while mucking about camp,  I blithely volunteered myselfto help with the period dance demos that the Ottawa ECD group are putting on, including the evening ball.  While I could get away with doing the demos in a bedgown,  my conscience simply won’t let me go to a ball in one.  Since a gown’s off the table – especially considering that I have four days to do it in – I decided to got with a jacket.   It’s one of the JP Ryan jacket patterns (view B I think) with the buttons as lacing posts inspired by one of the jackets in Janet Arnold.

This time I tried my hand at period technique, finishing each piece individually and then whipping everything together. I have to say it worked a treat; lining things smoothly has always been a weakness of my work, and this method neatly and easily sidesteps the whole problem, as well as the thorny issue of finishing ones seams.  For the ball I dressed it up with my peach linen petticoat worn over kidneys, and the embroidered stomacher I am working on the photo.  Although I was sewing right up until nearly the last minute, I think it turned out well.  I certainly got a lot of compliments, and several civilians learned the hard way that once you get a seamstress talking about her clothes she will never stop!

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Sewing Empire

Regency & Historical Needlework.

Good Time Regency Girls

21st Century Girls, 19th Century Style

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