Ever since I saw Jane Bennet (Rosamund Pike) in her lovely blue and pink half-robes in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, I have dreamed of having one of my own. Seeing Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) in her own striped version confirmed my desire and I plunged into research. And now, thanks to the Historical Sew Fortnightly (HSF) ( Click here to join in the fun! ), I have finally got the chance to finish my project!
I made it of blue sari fabric that my Daddy brought back for me from England a few years back. I actually made a dress from it in 2009 for a piano recital (I was playing a Pride and Prejudice piece) and I wasn't pleased with it in the end. I only wore it once. Here's an old picture of it below.
It wasn't terrible, but the neckline was too high (I didn't know about fichus yet) and I didn't have my stays way back then. Anyway, after years of sitting at the bottom of my historical wardrobe bucket, I joined the HSF and the poor old dress got nice new facelift :)
This fortnight's challenge is "Robes & Robings". I used about 3 yards of Indian sari fabric recycled from the other dress. I used my favorite; Jennie Chancey's Regency pattern ( sensibility.com ). I actually have nearly the whole set of her Regency patterns. This half-robe is dated toward the beginning of the Regency era (1790s-1810s) The gown I wore underneath was 1790s as well. The only notions I needed were 2 small white buttons. This gown is historically accurate, even if where I wore it wasn't. See, half-robes were actually house-coats and wouldn't be worn outdoors so much. However, since I don't have access to an accurate indoor setting, my backyard served just as well, methinks. Since it was a refashion, it only took me about 2 hours to complete. I ended up spending most of my time on the white dress beneath :) In the end, it cost me absolutely nothing but 2 hours, since the fabric was a gift and I already had the buttons! It was an easy last-minute project that was doable since, our family is moving in a few weeks. Below are the pictures of the finished product. If you have any questions about altering Jennie's Regency pattern to be a half-robe, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|A view of the back.|
|Closeup of the fabric details.|
I made this white cotton drawstring gown this week as well. I needed something to go underneath and I finally broke out my "Elegant Lady's Closet Pattern" (also Sensibility :) The pattern is fantastic! Easy to understand and super practical. I've been in need of this Regency wardrobe staple for a long time and now that I have it, so many possibilities have opened up! I made it out of, get this, a size Full white cotton flat sheet from Wal-Mart! I recommend that fabric to everyone! It's great for unmentionables and so many of the classic white staples you need for any historical wardrobe and it's really inexpensive for fine quality fabric.