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Regency / Napoleonic Court Gown and Train at Costume College 2017

I received my photos from the official Costume College photographer Andrew Schmidt  so I can show you my complete Regency/Napoleonic court gown and train ensemble!*

* A note about terminology: Technically, English Regency court gowns were a really odd silhouette where you had the high waist but very wide shape, and French gowns of the Napoleonic period had the more columnar shape, so my whole outfit is French style. However, for simplicity in some of my past posts I have been using the term “Regency” because I can wear my gown without the formal court train.IMG_3396-(ZF-3567-92908-1-002)IMG_3397-(ZF-3567-92908-1-003)

I love this view of the back. Thanks Mr. Schmidt for making sure the circle was laid out nicely!IMG_3399-(ZF-3567-92908-1-001)

I have made a number of posts about the construction process of the dress and train and you can find them under the Napoleonic tag on my blog, but I will summarize a few main points here.

For the dress I used the Butterick B6074 pattern, with some modifications (described in previous posts). The dress is made out of a mint green chiffon with white cotton voile lining, and the fancy layer on top is a heavily embellished net with embroidery and several types of sequins, beads, and faux pearls. I had a few questions about whether I used a sari. It is not a sari, but a bridal lace from Fabric Wholesale Direct. Here is a close-up of the fabric before I cut it out:img_0802

For the court train I used the Butterick B4890 Josephine pattern, but I modified it to have straps instead of a bodice back. The train is made with silk velvet, lined with a linen/cotton blend, and edged in a gold-tone netting lace. The front underbust strap is closed with a vintage brooch that I found on eBay.IMG_2362

My pearl necklace and earrings were made by Gloria of In The Long Run Designs, whose Etsy shop is full of beautiful historical jewelry!

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Photo by In The Long Run Designs

My regency diadem was made by me using brass lamp banding and faux pearls. (I posted about a party where I made some other diadems here).IMG_2927

This whole outfit was really heavy and became quite uncomfortable to wear by the end of the evening! I’m glad it was worn for only a few hours at the Friday Night Social. The dress is heavily beaded and sequined, and the train is quite heavy too, and unlike a Victorian outfit where I can have a corset and hoops to help support the weight, everything was supported by my shoulders.

Here’s a quick twirling video here where you can see the dress sparkle!

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So, what’s the final tally of what everything cost? This was my “splurge” project for the year so it cost more than my usual outfits, but I think this one was worth it!

Dress:

  • 3 yards beaded lace (from Fabric Wholesale Direct): $149.85
  • 3 yards mint chiffon (from FWD): $7.47
  • 3 yards white cotton voile (from FWD): $11.97
  • Thread and fishing line (from stash)

Total = $0 (All the fabric for this dress was a gift from Fabric Wholesale Direct in exchange for a tutorial you can see on their website. Thanks FWD!)

Court train:
  • 6 yards silk velvet (from Amazon, affiliate link): $113.84 (I used 5 yards)
  • 5 yards linen/cotton lining (from Renaissance Fabrics): $32.50 + tax and shipping = $43.59
  • 10 yards lace (from Aliexpress): $34.94 (I only use half, and sold the remainder)
  • Pattern (from eBay): $7.59
  • Brooch (from eBay): $3.84 (yay no one else bid on it)
  • Button cover kit (leftover from another project): $0
  • Button loops (braided from random string I found in my house): $0

Train total = $203.80

Ouch, that’s a bit of a splurge, but it’s not terrible considering I have a lot of huge scraps of silk velvet left over, and can probably make a 1920s dress with some careful cutting, so I can get two dresses out of that price!

Tiara: The cost of this is a little tricky to calculate, because a lot of the supplies I bought in bulk, used to make other tiaras, and shared with friends. I think if you shop right and share with friends you can make one for $30 depending on how fancy you get with beads, pearls, or gemstones. A big part of the cost is buying the brass online and paying for shipping.

  • Brass banding: Etsy or lamp supply stores
  • Faux pearls and head pins: eBay or Michael’s
  • Metal hair combs: Amazon or beauty supply shops

My shoes were Pemberly Regency slippers from American Duchess (affiliate link) that I previously owned. I am also wearing short stays and a corded petticoat (not period correct, but needed to support the weight of the dress).

So in total, this ensemble will cost you about $400 of materials (not including accessories), but represented a little more than $200 out of pocket, with enough leftovers to make a second dress, so not too bad! I try to keep most gowns $100 or less, so this was my “big project” for the year.

I am very happy with how this court outfit turned out, especially how the mint and rose color combination worked together, and how the accessories completed the look. It’s also always nice too when a dress looks good from the back as well!IMG_3399-(ZF-3567-92908-1-001)

Costume College Recap (Part 2)

If you missed it, Part 1 (Thursday/Friday) of the Costume College Recap can be found here.

On Saturday I took several classes: Fashions of Versailles (Rise Reading); The King of Fashion: Paul Poiret (Adam Lid); and Intro to Arduino, Sensors and Programmable LEDS.

For the daytime I wore something quick and easy, a vintage 60s wool cheerleading uniform that fit the theme. I accessorized with a modern band hat and gogo boots.IMG_3208

Ginger looked lovely in green Regency!IMG_3222

Molly of Avant Garbe looked lovely in her Eliza Schuyler-inspired gown.IMG_3217

And I ran into these two cuties that were just finishing breakfast! Ashley (of fishnetvanity) and Twila (of twilatee).IMG_3212

Elizabeth (peachassassin) was #bigpimpin in her brocade outfit.IMG_3232.JPG

Saturday night was the Red Carpet and Gala dinner. There were so many incredible costumes I could not capture them all or post them here, but please see my Flickr album for more!

I wore 1660s with my Cavalier ladies (Teresa, Jessica, Elizabeth, Cate, and Kim). I loved the variety of colors in our group! (I’ll post more about my outfit later, with construction notes and what I want to change for the future!)IMG_3298.JPG

Natalie (frolicking_frocks) wore an amazing Cersei dress with embroidery she did by hand!IMG_3283IMG_3260

We couldn’t resist taking photo in our matching villainous black and chest jewelry.IMG_3308.JPG

Christine (of sewstine) and her husband wore these incredible silk frock coats! Christine sewed the outfits and did hundreds of hours of machine embroidery! Be sure to check out her IG account for more photos. I could not do the outfits justice with my camera and poor lighting.IMG_3322.JPG

A group of us (me with Christine, Bunny, AJ, and Gloria) posed for a photo to prove we are all different people. Yes, we are constantly referred to by each other’s names at CoCo. IMG_3409

Elvis (really Jez) was in the house!IMG_3446.JPG

Kelsey (irreverentvintagegirl) was in a gorgeous vintage 60s evening gown, with perfect hair and makeup.

Christina of the Laced Angel wore a Hamilton extra outfit and Curtis looked dashing in his banyan.IMG_3310.JPG

Jessica had an impressive reproduction of the coronation gown for Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Be sure to read her summary here!

The girls of American Duchess looked splendid as always, with Lauren in her Robe a la Turque and Abby in a frothy pink and white 1760s Robe a la Francaise.IMG_3265IMG_3268

Breanna of Mothball Fleet was adorable as always.IMG_3286.JPG

Rebecca was a stunner in blue!IMG_3405.JPG

After a long day and evening people started collapsing into cupcakes on the ground . . .IMG_3442.JPG

Or into sleepy kigurumis like Lauren.IMG_3441

The next day we woke up early to make it down to the Bargain Basement. I got so many lovely things there I will have to make a separate post later. I was too busy with shopping and my classes that I didn’t take many photos.

First I took an amazing lecture from Leimomi Oakes called “Tapa Cloth and Tiki Attire: The Pacific Influence on Fashion.” After a quick lunch break I went to my limited class “Making the Phantom Bustle” with Christina DeAngelo, and then later her great overview lecture “Beyond the Lobster Tail Bustle,” where she provided many examples of bustles.

This is Christina telling us not to hit each other with dowels in the limited class.IMG_3455

Kelsey looked wonderful in 18th century!IMG_3456IMG_3463

I dressed casually on Sunday because I had class and tear-down of my costume display, but here is a bonus picture of me with Breanna in matching clothes from Wearing History, checking out of the hotel on Monday.IMG_3469.JPG

One of the last costume pictures I took at CoCo was of Nicole (silk_and_buckram) and Lauren (markslauren) in bright green. What a way to end another fabulous CoCo!IMG_3460

To those of you that I met at Costume College, welcome to my blog! If you found me through my Instagram account (@freshfrippery) thank you for following! I got lots of new followers and I’m still sorting through which accounts are legit and which are spam, so please send me a DM there if I met you in real life and haven’t followed you back. Thank you!

Costume College Recap (Part 1)

I am back and mostly unpacked from Costume College. It was so much fun and so much happened I will have to break everything up into multiple posts: Thursday/Friday recap, Saturday/Sunday recap, final details and summary about my Napoleonic ensemble, final post about my Cavalier dress, and a “loot” post about the goodies and antiques I managed to snag from the dealer’s hall and bargain basement. You have been warned!

I traveled down on Thursday with Natalie (frolicking_frocks) and Kelsey (irreverentvintagegirl)IMG_2941

After checking in and unpacking we ran over to the exhibit hall, where I was invited to display my Lady Tremaine costume. There were other really talented costumers in the room so please see my Flickr account for more photos!IMG_2944

My travel companions helped me dress and pad the mannequin, plus make boob-arms.IMG_2942

Later that night at the pool party my 1940s Star Trek group had a revival, with a new addition of a galaxy by Christina of The Laced Angel.IMG_2948

We passed out custom badge ribbons.IMG_3033.JPG

I didn’t take many photos at the pool party because of the lighting, but look at these great Reys!IMG_2964.JPG

Friday started out with fun. (I wore a traditional embroidered German dirndl with a vintage 1930s apron) and Stratford shoes from American Duchess (affiliate link).IMG_3036

Maybe too much fun (with Elizabeth/peachassassin’s codpiece).IMG_3001.JPG

Kim had a really cute 60s coverup and Tab soda. (The overall theme for CoCo was the 60s). It’s hard to see in the picture but underneath there is an adorable gingham bikini top and shorts beach set.IMG_3023

I took two great classes during the day: “Beyond the Fringe: Unravelling the Myth of the 1920s Flapper” by Leimomi Oakes and “Finishing Your 18th Century Look” by Abby Cox. I would highly recommend any classes taught by these ladies.

That evening I finally wore my completed Napoleonic court gown and train. (I’ll post more photos and a final summary later, but you can see my other construction notes along the way).IMG_3153IMG_3146

My pearl necklace and earrings were made by Gloria of Inthelongrun.IMG_3192.JPG

There were so many incredible costumes at the Friday Night Social I can’t post them all so here’s a selection.

Natalie as Dolores from Westworld and Kelsey as Annie Oakley.IMG_3172

The awesome Adria Renee in her take on Star War’s Orson Krennic.IMG_3178

This great Outlander gown.IMG_3135

Some awesome Barbarellas by diystopia, Elizabeth, and Cynthia of Redthreaded.

Look at this amazing cord and soutache ensemble by Kelsey!

And we ended the evening with kigurumi shenanigans at the Pink Drink party!IMG_3204

1660s Cavalier Gown

I’m still recovering from eye surgery so this post will be brief. I’ll post more pictures and construction details when I get back from Costume College.

Here is a quick look at the bodice! I can’t see well enough to make a lot of tiny hand-sewn eyelets in the back, so someone will have to sew me into my dress before the Gala. IMG_2904

I already packed my petticoats and bum roll so I don’t have a mounted picture of the skirt.  I cartridge-pleated it, left the front part that goes under the center bodice tab flat, and hid closures in the pleats. (I have side openings for pocket access).IMG_2911

My hair in its hat box looks like braaaains!IMG_2903.JPG

See you at Costume College!

1660s Cavalier Dress

The Costume College theme this year is “60s” and the Gala theme is “Dinner at Tiffany’s” so I am making a black 1660s dress with large pearls, inspired by this portrait of Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany and his wife Vittoria Della Rovere by Justus Sustermans at the National Gallery in London.1660s-probably-grand-duke-2

This is a stash-busting project!

A while back I got 10 yards of 36″ black silk taffeta for $5/yard. With this project my goal was to stay as close to $50 as possible, which meant the other materials had to not only be stash, but what I call “legit stash” (leftovers from other projects). As much as we like to pretend it doesn’t count if you buy it and hide it in the closet for a few years, it still cost money up front. Aside from the black silk I wanted to use things that were already accounted for in the costs of other projects. Luckily I had scraps for lining, reed from my stays, and other miscellaneous materials:

This means not all of the materials are ideal. However, my rallying cry is STASH-BUSTING! Stash-busting

I used silk taffeta for the interlining that encases the boning because I didn’t want my bodice to be too thick, since I will have to add more layers afterward (a fashion fabric that has to be flat-lined to prevent the boning from showing).

Please keep in mind that silk can be rather insulating and warm! I used silk interlining anyway because:

  • STASH-BUSTING!
  • I’m going to be wearing this in the evening and indoors, in an air-conditioned hotel.
  • I feel cold all the time. I promise I’m not a vampire.

I am using the Nehelenia 1660 Baroque dress pattern.IMG_2598.JPG

Please note, this pattern is not for beginners. No boning channels are marked, and you have to figure them out by yourself. I recommend having made stays before you tackle this project, because the bodice is essentially stays with fashion fabric on top.

The pattern calls for about 2.5 meters of fabric for the skirt, which is 98 inches. That is not particularly full. I looked at some other bloggers’ recommendations and Kendra of Demode and the Dreamstress both recommend about 150 inches for a modern frame, even though a smaller circumference was historically accurate. I ended up using 4 panels of 36″ fabric.

Here are some quick progress shots of the inside and outside of the bodice. (The sleeves are still a mess and I have to add eyelet closures down the back and some silk gauze to the neckline).IMG_2601IMG_2603

I have cartridge-pleated about 3/4 of the skirt. My trick to save time marking and measuring is to sewing gingham to the inside and keep it there as a way to make the pleats fuller.IMG_2605IMG_2606

For a “simple” black dress this is proving to be a lot of work (much of it hidden). There is. boning, binding of tabs, cartridge-pleating of the skirt and sleeves, etc. I am having surgery later today so I will have to take a bit of break from sewing and the computer. I hope I can still finish before Costume College!

Portraits of 17th Century Fashion

While I’m finishing up accessories for my Napoleonic project, let’s talk about the 17th century!

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ca. 1664 Margaret Brooke, Lady Denham by Sir Peter Lely (Sheffield Museums)

I’m interested in 1660s and 1670s baroque fashion, which broadly speaking consists of a fully-boned bodice with a pointed front, wide neckline, full sleeves, and double-chins. (Yes, “soft features” were considered fashionable).

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1667 Portrait of a Woman by Joannes Buns

There are many solid-colored gowns in portraiture, but the elaborate lace trim down the front of the gown was also very common.

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1662 Married Couple in the Park attributed to Gonzales Coques (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)

The 17th century is full of crazy hair. A lot of the hairstyles remind me of a cocker spaniel, full and curly at top.

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 Portrait of Maria Mancini by a Follower of Jacob Ferdinand Voet, sold by Bonhams Auctions

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c. 1670s Maria Kazimiera (Casimira) d’Arquien, Queen of Poland by Voet

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ca. 1670 Principessa Laura Caterina Altieri by Jacob Ferdinand Voet (Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Venizia)

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1669. Portrait of Suzanna Doublet Huygens by Caspar Netscher from The Leiden Collection

If you like bows upon bows check out the Infanta Margarita Teresa.

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  (c. 1662-1664) Infanta Margarita Teresa, by anonymous at the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna

My dress for the Costume College Gala will be inspired by this portrait of Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany and his wife Vittoria Della Rovere. Although there are many flamboyantly-colored gowns from the time period, the little goth inside my heart wants a black gown.

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Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany and his wife Vittoria Della Rovere by Justus Sustermans  at the National Gallery in London

My gown won’t be an exact reproduction but I plan to make a similar jewelry set. Look at those giant pearls! They look like they would be deadly if swung in the wrong direction.

Regency/Napoleonic Court Train (Part 2) 98% Done!

My Regency/Napoleonic court train is nearly done! (I am just missing a proper brooch closure for the front; right now the straps are pinned into place).IMG_2285

I apologize for the weird lighting. I recently changed some of the lighting in my house to LED bulbs, which is great for my energy bill but not for the color of my pictures.

Don’t you just loooove the way silk velvet drapes?IMG_2276

Here is a shot with my court dress previously described here.IMG_2301

A reminder of what the gown alone looks like:b

I hope to get proper photos of the whole ensemble at Costume College.IMG_2307

Here is another mmm silk photo since I love the back so much.IMG_2278

I used Butterick B4890 to get the teardrop shape, but did not use the bodice portion of the pattern. I opted for the shoulder and underbust straps I saw in extant examples of court trains. I also decided to have a more “modest” length train since I will be using this at Costume College and it will be easier to navigate the crowds.

I can’t wait to wear this!IMG_2297

I still have to make a matching regency diadem and I have a pearl jewelry set on the way. Once that’s taken care of I can finally start on my gala gown!

 

(I will do my usual final tally of project costs once the whole ensemble is actually complete, but it is nearly there).