I started this gown back in April, and finished and wore it to an RSV event back in June. It's my first drawstring Regency dress, and I made it from an old fitted sheet! I only very loosely used a pattern for it, basing it on the bodice pattern I had drafted for my Blue Velveteen Bodice, which I had since traced onto heavy-duty paper:
|Original muslin pattern|
|Permanent paper pattern|
I pinned the front piece to my fabric a good 4" from the fold of my fabric, to give more material to the center front for gathering in with the drawstring. I cut only along the top and side of the pattern, and traced the lower edge with a fabric marker so I would know where the waist was. I measured the center front length of the skirt of another one of my gowns, and measured down from the waist line and cut the hem based on this length.
I cut two pieces of bias tape to the width of half of the skirt front and stitched them along the waist line, leaving a narrow gap in the middle:
For the bodice back, I used my paper pattern piece, and for the skirt back I measured from the waistline to the hem at the side and cut panels of my fabric to get as much fullness as possible. I had to be a bit creative with my cutting, because the sheet had a hole I needed to cut around. I started with two panels, and originally stitched another length of bias tape across the top (just inside the seam allowance). I threaded a long piece of narrow twill tape through this channel and drew it up as much as possible before sewing it to the bodice back:
I then stitched the two side back seams, keeping the twill tape ties free, then threaded the ends into the front channels. After attaching the front and back at the shoulder seams, I used more bias tape to create a channel for the drawstring at the neckline. At this point I tried it on:
|My seam gauge is measuring how far down I want to cut the neckline for my next drawstring gown. This neckline works well for a day dress, so I left it high on this dress.|
I have no pictures of the rest of the construction, so this is only from memory, but I believe I used the long sleeve pattern from my La Mode Bagatelle pattern. I don't think I made any alterations to it.
I first wore the dress for the RSV Caledon Nature Hike and picnic on June 11. It was very comfortable, and the long sleeves provided protection from ticks and other insects as we hiked through the woods. Brian the Engineer was kind enough to take some photos for me before the hike began:
I accessorized with my newly-made straw bonnet, my ruffled chemisette and removable neck ruff (which I'll blog about soon), a silk ribbon sash that I bought at Fort Frederick (which I also need to blog about!), ivory vintage gloves from my collection, and my American Duchess Hartfields. I made the reticule from a large circle of leftover fabric, gathered with a drawstring.
I had hemmed the back of the skirt slightly longer than the front, so it created a tiny, graceful train when walking downhill:
Brian and me together (RSV photo):
|The wind was making my skirt hug my legs because I wasn't wearing a petticoat underneath. :p|
|Photo by Rebecca|
|Photo by Rebecca|
I see many more drawstring dresses in my future!