Sunday, 15 July 2018

Regency Bib Front Dress - Yellow Silk

Patterns: Laughing Moon #126, view B bodice with view A sleeves.
Fabric: 100% silk, 100% cotton lining.

Measurements: *pattern size 18
Chest: 40"
Under-bust: 35"
Back width: 13"
Back width (garment, between armhole seams): 10.5"
Sleeve: 21" on short inside curve.

Pattern Notes
This is an amazing pattern and I highly recommend it to everyone. The price can feel a bit steep ($18, plus shipping), but it's worth it. The pattern comes with sizes 4 through 34 (so many good historical patterns top out at a 20 or 22) in one envelope. The lines are very closely marked, so you will want to invest in a roll of tracing paper.

The fit is very true to what is written on the pattern. I made a size 18 and it came out to a 35" under-bust and 40" bust, just like the chart said. The under-bust measurement is very important! Because this garment has openings on the sides, you need an appropriate amount of overlap there to cover it up. If you cut out a size too small for your under-bust, the overlap will be too small and there will be gaping.

In fact, if you're nervous about gaping at the sides (like me) cut the back skirt piece large on the side seam and attach it to the bodice an inch of so further to the front than marked. This will give you a deeper overlap. Also, very light-weight fabrics that "float" are kind of bad at hiding those side openings.

(above) Shows the side with the front portion overlapping at the side, with the tie going toward the back.
(below) with the front bodice dropped down you can better see the overlap.

I did make a few fit alterations. I shortened the skirt panels by 2.25", and I attached the back of the skirt is a different manner than the pattern specified. The skirt back panel is marked with very specific pleats, which are good if you want to pleat up the back of the skirt before attaching it to the bodice.

I followed the marked pleat guides for the sides of the skirt panels (because those specific pleats and their locations are important or masking the side opening. However, once I got to the center back where it was just going to be a bunch of center-back facing pleats, I did something different:

(above) I made a 1" pleat toward the center back, then marking out a deep pleat going the other way. The rest of the skirt back was then gathered so that it would lay on top of this pleat. This allowed the heavily fathered portion to bounce out away from the body and crate that historically accurate silhouette. I got the idea for this "gathers over box pleat" method from the regency era pelisse featured in The Cut of Women's Clothes. In that diagram, you can see the markings on the skirt back which lead to this result (see picture after next).

And now, the rest of the pictures:

The front bodice is attached with thread loops and Dorset buttons

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