18 April 2009

Silk Regency Ballgown Musings

My darling husband bought me some gorgeous pinkish peach and cherry red china silk for my birthday back in January. The fabric was purchased to coordinate with a gorgeous embroidered net (shh... it's a Wal-Mart brand drape!) in order to make a peach undergown with a overgown of the net and with red highlights. I'm also hoping I'll have enough red left to make some kind of hair accessory and the outside of a pair of slippers. Here's the fabrics together:

Well, I've procrastinated on this gown FOREVER since January and while I'm glad I did (since now the gown needs room for all three of us!) it's time to quit procrastinating! So here are my inspiration images complete with descriptions of what I like and questions for you to help me decide on. I have a mock-up of the changes to Sense and Sensibility's regular Regency pattern all cut out in a cute blouse form (minus the belt) so I just need some comments and motivation to get going on cutting that precious silk!

I really love this portrait of Contesse Regault. Emerald green is one of my favorite colors and this sheer fabric is so gorgeous! I'd like my dress to to have qualities of this one.

This gown from the Victoria and Albert Museum is made from a silk net with roses embroidered on it and very much reminds me of my Wal-Mart Drapes. I love the ribbon around her waist and the slightly longer length in the rear of the dress.

This dress (also from V & A) is more of a ballgown length and also made from embroidered silk net and adored with padded silk at the hem. I didn't intend on doing long sleeves on my gown but seeing this one makes me think that detachable ones might be gorgeous! And I have plenty of that expensive looking embrodiered net ;)

I love love love the sweet sleeves on this net gown. I also plan to use contrast bias binding (though I think it's a type of woven tape here) at the neckline, sleeveband, and waistline.

I love the sweetness of a white gown. What I particularly want to use from this gown is the waistband and the fan front.

So in short I'd love to have a net overgown with a fan front, sweet puff sleeves (maybe with undersleeves?), and red contrast on the waistband, sleeve bands, and around the neckline. My skirt will have to be gathered all the way around to accomadate babies, but I can cut the skirt narrower later. I can't figure out if the peach underdress should have sleeves or be more like a bodiced petticoat in that it's sleeveless. I think I've rambled enough. What do you think?

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