Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pasadena's Jane Austen Evening

Admiring the general splendor ;)

What a fun weekend! I attended the Jane Austen Evening, Saturday night. We made a weekend of it and enjoyed my old neighborhood of Pasadena. I went down with my husband and my mom, who I've been taking dance classes with. We met up with our group from vegas for the ball and had a blast. 

We were going to attend the tea, too, but ended up making other plans. I had brought a second outfit for it, but I will have to find another opportunity to wear it for pictures. For the ball, I made a new dress. It was highly inspired by a dress at the Museo del Traje. I love the dippy neckline! 

Yikes. My hair is notoriously fly-away. Especially after running around the dance floor.

The ball was very fun. The dancing was great. We ended the evening with an especially fun Sir Roger. Special thanks to the girls that pulled us in to it. We were about to head out because of tired feet. Good thing we stayed! 

The ball was the perfect opportunity to polish up the jewels. I wore a necklace, earrings and a sparkly comb in my hair.

I also made up some shoes. Well, adorned some shoes. I embroidered little silver stars on a pair of white leather ballet slippers, and embellished with some silk pleating little bows. You can see some of the embroidery on the bottom of the dress, below. The embroidered panels are of sheerer fabric than the lawn used for the dress.

I accessorized with a purse, gloves, a fan and my handy shawl, in case it got chilly, but the weather was beautiful! I can't believe we have weather in the 80's in January! The pink bag was also made by me, but loaned to my mom for the evening. I brought it for the tea, but since we didn't go, I was glad it got to come out and play.

And a couple pictures from the construction phase...

All in all, the dress went together very quickly. The embroidery was done much faster than I would have thought. Like, in a couple evenings. The whole dress was finished in less than two weeks. I saved time by serging the long inside seams. Everything else had to be done by hand. The embroidery was so fast because I basically used an uneven running stitch, almost like a darning stitch, and zip zip zipped along. The body of the dress is cotton lawn. The embroidered panels, and pleating at the bust, are cotton voile. The pattern was draped by me, referencing the dress at the Museo del Traje and similar dresses of the era.

I made the back pieces wider than necessary, so I could gather them in with ties. It made for a nice effect when worn.

All in all, I really love this dress. Aside from the petticoat, which could have been a smidge longer, to compliment the sheer hem better, I really can't think of anything I would change about it. Whew, isn't it nice to make something you feel is really finished? And fits. And is comfortable. Such a good feeling! 

I hope everyone else had a lovely weekend. Cheers to a great week ahead!


  1. Oooooh!!! Aaaaahh!!! The more I scroll down, the better the pictures get and the more fun things are to be found in them!! I cannot believe how many people were at that dance! How delightfully fun!! Your dress is so fabulous! Everything about it is so lovely! The pleating, stitching, sheer-iness of it! Your slippers are so darling! Love the stitiching on them as well! And yeah!! Your reticule! You look divine! What fun!!


    1. Thank you thank you thank you! It was such a fun evening :) And yes, soooo many people! It made it very festive. It will definitely be on next years to do list.

  2. What is the best way to attach the embroidered panel a) if it's between two other pieces of fabric and b) if it's to attach to the bottom of a hem or sleeve? Thanks. Annabel

    1. Hmm.. I don't know about the best way, but what I did (and it's the first time I've done this) was for the insertion, I pressed the seam allowances under and tacked the panel on top of the main fabric. I then basted and stitched the insertion down. Then I cut open the main fabric, under the panel and pressed it back and tacked it down.

      For the hem, I stitched the bottom of the dress and top of the panel together, seam allowances on the inside. Then I turned up the seam allowances and tacked them to the dress.

      I hope that was somewhat easy to understand.

  3. Holy bejeezus you look stunning! Wonderful job!!!

  4. Sheer dresses are quite lovely. I love that pleated, dippy detail on the front of yours. Quite unique! :) It sure does look like a well attended event.


    1. There were so many people, I couldn't believe it! I think sheer dresses are beautiful, too. The dippy front was copied from the dress. I think theres only one other dress I've seen with that shaped neckline. It is also at the Museo del Traje. I don't know where the dresses were originally made, or if it was a Spanish fashion at the time.

  5. You look every inch the Regency Lady!

  6. Your dress is stunning! Beautiful job with the embroidery.