Monday, April 14, 2014

My 1790s Round Gown

Every March Woodville Plantation has an event called at home with the Neville's. For one afternoon costumed interpreters welcome the public to join the Neville family ,the original owners of the house. I've been one of the costumed interpreters for this event for several years now and it's always fun to spend the afternoon in the late 18th century. We play cards, drink Madeira and then have a wonderful 18th century dinner, all while curious visitors look on.  The house was built in the late 1770s but the time we portray at this particular event are the 1790s, so I always try to dress 1790s style.
I have several 1790s garments in my costume closet but I had worn all of them several times and was in the mood for something new. So I decided to whip up a new round gown on Friday night for the Sunday event.
I had just the right kind of fabric on hand as well! 

Plum colored hand block printed Indian cotton. Buy some here!

I've had it for a while actually, it's one of the Indian block prints I got in bulk last summer for sale in my shop. I've always liked it but somehow no one else seems to favour it because I only ever sold one dress length of it. Perhaps it's because it's not light and airy like many people think regency fabrics should be. It's a dark plum ground printed with a green and maroon floral pattern. But in fact this sort of colour scheme was pretty common in the late 18th and early 19th century, it's not all dainty white gowns they wore! Anyway I had 3 dress lengths of the stuff and decided to make one into a gown for myself so people could see how the fabric looks in action. Well that and I actually like the fabric...
I used the same pattern I drafted a while back for Erin's round gown, and the thing went together without a hitch, only took me a couple of hours on Friday night and Saturday.

My pretty new gown

I wore it with my new 18th century stays underneath instead of my regency short stays, I like the shape it gave me..

and I love the full skirts of the 1790's
The result is quite pleasing. It's simple yet elegant,I paired it with a velvet ribbon sash and a antique cut steel buckle. And I wore my newly painted shoes.
(these shoes are getting their own post btw). 

My pretty new regency shoes!
I had a lovely time at the event even though the visitors where few and far in between because of the weather. But it kind of makes it more fun for us reenactors because without the public looking on it's kind of like going back in time for a little while.