Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Early Regency Dress - Indian Silk Sari

Patterns: I used a combination of the robe and underdress patterns for the 1795 woman's ensemble in Evolution of Fashion: Pattern and Cut from 1066 - 1930, by Margot Hill and Peter Bucknell. The underdress is sleeveless, but I used the robe sleeves with some alterations.
Available on Etsy HERE

Fabric: 100% silk, lightweight, taken from a vintage Indian sari. Total fabric used was 5.6 yards at 44" wide.

Measurements:
*This dress has drawstring closures at the neckline and waist in both the back and front, making it very accommodating to variations in bust and under-bust sizes. 
Chest: 37-41" (39" shown in the pictures)
Underbust: Practically OS (35" shown in the pictures)
Hem: 43" from under-bust.
Bicep: 13" max
Sleeve length: 14" from top of armhole seam.
Shoulder strap (stationary, ungathered area): 10" from back shoulder seam to beginning of front gathered neckline.
Shoulder strap width: 3"


THE SARI
I bought a batch of used saris from Indian last year. They are an amazing source of low cost silk (if they are real silk. Be careful), and buying them used is always a good thing. So far, my sources on ebay have been very good. 

This sari was one of the slightly longer ones, about 6.5 yards total. Like most saris, about 1 to 1.5 yards at one end is a heavy block of decoration, usually darker than the rest of the sari. Mine had that. I simply cut that section away (a new silk scarf!) and that left me with about 5.5 yards of usable area. 
In order to get the width I needed for the skirt panel (Used just one large panel), I had to take the border on one edge, cut it off, and attach to the border on the other edge. This doubled the width of the border on the hem. You could just leave the borders where they are, but I haven't seem maybe historical examples of dresses with a stark border around the underbust, so I wouldn't recommend that.

I went on to use border pieces for cuffs on the sleeves as well.

UNDER-DRESS
The sari silk was quite delicate and semi-transparent, so I had to add an under-dress to cover the undergarments. The under-dress is really more like a chemise done in black cotton. It's not fitted and has a simple drawstring neckline as the only fitting measures.

FINISHED
















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