April : Glad Rags (Part Two)

If you missed the first part of this post, it can be found here.

Alright! We will move backwards in time here with our glad rags, from the Regency to Medieval time-period.

The second dress was made with Simplicity pattern 1773, dress “c”. As one can quickly see upon comparing my picture to theirs, I did not do the ribbon trim. The dress is unlined, out of red linen, with eighteen black buttons, nine going up each wrist, and an invisible zipper in the back. It has princess seams, which I like very much, but I am less of a fan of the deep square neck—the shoulders don’t like to stay up.

Unlike with the first dress you saw earlier this month, there were no attempts (aside from the buttons on the sleeves) for historical accuracy in construction. This one is definitely more costume-grade.

Overall they are both very good patterns, but the search for the perfect dress continues. Don’t tell, but I’ve been working on drafting patterns…


April : The Scarlet Pimpernel


The Snottor has been quite busy this month nursing blisters sprung up on his delicate ankles, all on accounts of those dratted “April Showers”. Boots, no matter how advantageous to the avid gardener, can be quite painful when worn at length on a wet day. He accepts the readers’ condolences rather sourly, but as politely as the situation can warrant. The rest blistered feet desire is quite conducive, he thinks, to this month’s recommendation.

About this work:

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a work of swashbuckling-ly romantic historical fiction by the Baroness Emma Orczy. But enough of these silly descriptions, they are frustrating to an impatient and sour Snottor. The point of this post, and what he wants the reader to know, is that the book is really quite fabulous. It is quick, adventurous, and for the romantics like the Snottor out there, it is really quite appreciated. There have been two adaptations made of this lovely work, to the Snottor’s knowledge. One, a miniseries, he has not seen and cannot speak to. Phlox would discreetly ask a knowledgeable reader to enlighten him on the subject, to ease his acidic curiosity, but she knows that would do no good for the poor Snottor. He must see to believe.

He has viewed, however, the 1982 feature length adaptation. It is long but superb, he says. He finds Anthony Andrews (whom Phlox is rather fond of, he shall inform the reader with a smirk) and Jane Seymour (not to mention the illustrious Ian McKellen) carry the whole thing with splendor and grace. The music that goes along with the whole thing is quite scintillating, and the Snottor, who is not fond of watching or reading even very good things more than once, must confess to having watched the movie three times (although it feels to Phlox like five), and to having read the book twice. He finds it to be quite the innocent indulgence.

April : Glad Rags (Part One)

glad rags— clothes for a special occasion; one’s best clothes.”

I certainly draw more dresses (or, as I like to call them, “glad rags”) than I make, but I do, when not terribly encumbered with schoolwork and/or writing, enjoy sewing.

I am on a sort of a long-term personal search for the perfect dress, and each one I make I think will be “the one”.

Of course they aren’t.

However, I have turned out some things I feel rather good about. The first dress was my first major sewing project as an inexperienced novice—I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It took, what, a year? Something like that. I used to watch the fabulous Jane Austen adaptations, and this dress is in the Regency style. It is lined with white batiste, with a lavender cotton on the outside, and has three black flower-shaped buttons with rhinestones in the center to close the back. It is all appropriate to the period, minus the machine-stitching! It has, in fact, been remade by myself (what you see is its current state), as on my first attempt I gathered the waist too much at the bust and messed the thing up, having no idea what I did wrong. A few years of experience later, I retackled it—I made a new bodice from scraps (it used to have a higher neck and long sleeves) using the pattern pieces for the “a” dress in the pattern packet, having first made the “b”.

For those curious, it was with the Simplicity pattern 4055.

What dress do you think I should make next? Have you made something you particularly like?