Saturday, September 11, 2010

Variations on a Theme ~ Regency

 In my year-and-a-half of sewing, I've been enjoying learning the secrets of altering patterns to achieve different looks.  I haven't done much of this on regular-sized clothing (except for lengthening a bodice or a skirt), but I've done a lot of it on doll clothing (which, taking up so little material, makes more allowances for cutting out new pieces if the alteration goes wrong). 

 The pattern I use for all my Regency style doll dresses is a pattern for Josefina's Christmas Dress (American Girl).  It is the perfect pattern for altering.

The original:

The original pattern calls for a ruffle on the neckline, and no lining.  For each dress I've made with the pattern, I've cut out double the amount of bodice pieces to make a lining, and omitted the neck ruffle completely.  I  usually don't included the ribbon on the waistline either.

The following two were made with those basic alterations.

 The only alteration I made on this dress (besides omitting the neck ruffle and adding a lining) is that I borrowed the sleeves from Kirsten's Pinafore Dress pattern so they were more "puffy".
 This one's almost the same except that I did use the upper sleeve piece from the Josefina pattern and left out the long sleeve piece.

 For this, I borrowed sleeves from a McCalls pattern.

 For this one, I cut the front bodice piece a couple centimeters away from the fold and at a slight angle, and gathered it instead of darting it.  I borrowed the sleeves from a Felicity pattern. :-)

 For this dress, I did the same thing with the bodice (gathering instead of darting), added bias around the neckline and waistline, and also sewed lace to the neckline to resemble Emma's Box Hill dress.  I wish I had gotten better pictures of it before it sold.
Same deal with the bodice here, except somehow I must have lengthened it because it seems longer (almost like a 1790's dress rather than mid-Regency).   I couldn't resist adding the little rose on the neckline; isn't it precious? ;-)  Sleeves came from the Felicity's Christmas Gown pattern.
So those are the alterations I've done on that pattern, and there's more to come.  I am planning a slightly different technique for the gathered bodice option as well as thinking out how to make a crossover gown in doll size.

(Speaking of which, I think I settled on making the Regency crossover gown for myself, though I'm not sure what fabric yet.  I'd still like to make Buttercup's dress, but I really would like an excuse to wear it someplace when I make it. ;-) )


Kelly said...

Lovely Elinor! I love all the dresses, you sew things better than I can! Where do you get the patterns for the AG dresses?

Liz&Elle said...

I loved your alterations! I wish I could make clothes like that. I know what you mean about making alterations. I do that sort of thing all the time. Sometimes I'm just wanting to try something new, and other times I don't have the normal materials, but I really enjoy doing it. I can't wait to see your regency crossover dress!
Your sister in Christ,
Lizzy Darcy

Allison said...

What beautiful dresses! Lol, wish they were in my size! ; ) Can't wait to see how your crossover gown will turn out!

Liz&Elle said...

Elinor Dashwood,
I have tagged you on my blog!
Your sister in Christ,
Liz Darcy

Shari said...

Oooooh - I really like the one with the puffy sleeves, especially with the blue ribbon at the waist.

Seastar Studios said...

I love this! It was exactly what I was looking for! I am making a dress for a special friend who's birthday is coming up, and this will be absolutely perfect for her! Thank you so much for posting this.