Today I came home from a VERY long first week back at school, and I found three packages on my doorstep. Getting fabric in the mail is like getting a Christmas present! Actually....it's like an early birthday present. My birthday is in early October, and I can never seem to wait until then....so my husband let me pick out some fabric "as an early birthday gift" for the Regency era white gown, and Pelisse/Robe/Coat that I am planning on making for myself.
Good fabric isn't cheap, but I managed to find some on sale for my coat and when all was said and done, the cost of my coat will be MUCH cheaper than if I were to buy one in the store. And for the gown, it will only cost me about $30 in the end. Not bad, if I must say so myself.
I purchased the fabric for my gown at Dharma Trading Co. It's a beautiful white cotton lawn. If feels so light, airy, and soft to the touch....I'm sure I will feel like I'm floating in a cloud when I wear it.
I don't know exactly how I will make my gown yet, but I'm researching a few ideas. I am really drawn to the white gown the wife in this painting is wearing. It's by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, and is a detail of Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck (WHAT a name, huh!) with his Wife and Children, 1801-02. I like the simplicity of the gown, and I think it will look nice alone, or under an open robe. I might, in the future, make a soft, pale, colored petticoat to go underneath the gown.
Here, again, is a close up image of the Muse for my Pelisse/Robe....the coat on the left. (I'm still not sure what to call it...there is so much debate about how a Robe differs from a Pelisse.) Most likely, I will start with the Sense and Sensibility Pelisse pattern, but will alter and re-draft it to get the look I want.
And here is the color combination that I chose for my Pelisse. The cream colored fabric will be used for the lining in the sleeves and bodice. The dove gray colored fabric will be used for the facing of the bodice (around the collar area). And the blue-green-gray colored fabric will be the main part of the Pelisse.
The lining is a silk/wool blend from Burnley&Trowbridge. The wool makes it slightly heavy, and will be warmer than pure silk, but the silk aspect makes it nice and slick....for that easy 'on-off' capability.
The facing is from Trim-Fabric, and is 100% cotton velvet. It feels soooooo soft! I can't even describe the way it feels on your skin....it's nothing even remotely like synthetic velvet. It's a dream! I could just roll around in the stuff, it feels so good! It says on the website that it is a "beige" color, but it isn't. It's more like a dove-gray, or mousy-brown/gray...but I like the color that it actually is better than what they said it was.
For the main part of the Pelisse, I chose a beautiful, light-weight, 100% "serge" wool from Burnley&Trowbridge. It's not scratchy, at all, like you might think wool would be. It's quite soft. I would highly recommend Burnley & Trowbridge for wools and linens, especially if you are purchasing them for reenacting and want something that is period correct. The people that run the company are extremely friendly and helpful, and the fabric is very high quality, without being budget-busting expensive.
On a slightly side note: I would recommend getting swatches of any fabric you are thinking about buying, it will save you a lot of tears in the end. Most big (and even some small) fabric companies will let you purchase swatches for next to nothing. I actually ordered swatches of all of the fabric you are seeing in this post, and I was very glad that I did. My original choices, when looking on line, weren't at all what I thought they would be, and I ended up going with something completely different. It's lovely to be able to feel the thickness, texture and elasticity of the fabrics you are purchasing BEFORE you actually purchase them. Also, the colors that show up on your computer monitor aren't always true to the source.
This picture just makes me so excited about starting this project....all of the colors and textures and drape of fabric all mixed together.... *sigh* With all of the crazy-busy-ness of school now, I only hope that I can actually work on these projects any time soon. Maybe...just maybe.... by the time my actual birthday comes around I will be able to say this early birthday present is ready to be 'unwrapped'. Until then, I will be content just feeling and looking at all of this beautiful fabric....is that weird?