So, last week I went to Colonial Williamsburg for the first time and it was awesome! You may not know this about me, but during the school year, I have a very low sewing output especially with costuming. I sometimes craft for Christmas, but otherwise I am usually consumed with the being a teacher from September to June.
Why then did I think I could finish a whole wardrobe for my trip with only September to March to work on it?!
The really crazy thing is that I managed a Costume College size wardrobe in that amount of time. I didn't get to three of the outfits I wanted and don't even get me started on the accessories I didn't have, but what I did produce was pretty impressive for me. Today I'm going to talk about my favorite dress.
The Red Silk Roundgown
The idea for this dress was born in August 2012 in the LA fabric district. The figured silk sold at Home Fabrics seems pretty ubiquitous at this point, but I haven't really seen much 18th century made with it. However, when I saw the red/black shot color and the way it shimmered in the sun, I knew I had to have it. And the pink silk roundgown in the Manchester City Galleries was the dress it had to become.
Now, I'm not the first person to make a version of this dress so I'm not claiming to be original here, but I am pretty proud of myself for making the dress in a way that not only suits my coloring, but looks dang good on me.
The pattern is the same basic 18th century block I always use only modified to have a round neckline. The sleeves are my 18th century sleeve pattern block (used with very little change since 2005. Hey, if you conquer sleevils, there's no need to fix what ain't broke) and the collar was drafted using the pattern in Patterns of Fashion, then tweaked on my dress form. I will be doing a more in depth post on that collar soon.
Anyway, the dress went to Williamsburg in a VERY unfinished state - I hadn't sewn in the bodice lining, finished the sleeve ends, hemmed it, or attached the collar. Good thing I had a car ride to sew through! It was finished by the Saturday of my trip and I looked and felt fabulous in it. Now, enjoy the pretty pictures.