Upcycled Regency Gown

Today I’ve taken a break from writing/editing to deal with some of the extraneous fabric lying around my house by making it into this:

Full-length shot closely cropped because my flat is a shithole again.
Full-length shot closely cropped because my flat is a shithole again.

This is constructed out of a £1 net curtain with lace edging that was found in a Salvation Army shop in Walthamstow (opposite the William Morris Gallery), the bottom part of a second-hand dress bequeathed to me, some leftover red satin from another project, a little satin-y lacing also left over from something else, and a variety of satin roses which I cut off a wedding dress I got from a charity shop. Said wedding dress’s sleeves provided the cuffs for some fancy bloomers and the buttons have gone off to various shirts, while the dress itself was given to a friend it would actually fit.

Close up of roses

Close up of skirt

Using the roses to hide the gathers was clearly a work of genius, as was backing the lace with red satin to give the dress some colour:


What was not a work of genius, and I will give you this advice for free, was not figuring out precisely how I was going to do all this before I started. On this occasion the “wing and a prayer” approach resulted in a nice dress with very firm stitching and a good fit (I did at least remember to measure myself), but it could easily have ended in disaster at several points and there are some hidden fixes for problems I created for myself.

And, as is always the case when sewing in my tiny flat, with my elbow against the wall and my sewing machine vibrating itself off the table and unthreading itself every two minutes, there was a lot of very inventive swearing. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think it’s possible to make clothes without swearing.


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