Thursday, November 10, 2016

1790s accessories

This past weekend, I attended a Pumpkin Tea that a costumer friend hosts (and has hosted for ten years as of this one! I haven't made them all but every one I've been to has been excellent). It's always good food, good friends, and good fun! It's "Regency" themed - 1790s to about 1820. Every other time I've attended, I've actually worn some variation of the same Pompom Outfit. Which I still like very much but am fairly tired of wearing places by now!

I've always found Jen's 1790s dresses very inspiring - mid-1790s especially are so distinctive and ridiculous! You might remember that I made the white round gown earlier this year (and photographed it very badly!) but never finished the open robe I wanted to go over it as my planned picnic got rained out. Well, the open robe still seemed like too much work, but a couple accessories would spruce up said round gown for an event, right?

I didn't exactly copy any one fashion plate, but drew a lot of inspiration from the bonnet board I linked above. The hat I'd already made for the rained-out picnic, so I wanted to do something that would be a fun contrast with the green. I really wanted a yellow mantle, as there are a couple of plates with yellow and green accessories that I thought were very fun - but I decided I wasn't allowed to buy fabric for this, so an orange silk shantung in the stash did very well too.
I had some more of the green taffeta I used for the band and bow on the hat, so I used that for the sash. The scarf on the hat is an especially silly 1790s feature that you see quite often - mine's green chiffon. And the feathers are a couple of ostrich drabs that I trimmed down a bit.
I think the mantle came out very spiff, but I almost gave up on it halfway through. So tired of pleats!!! It's all hand sewn, so took me the better part of two weeks, mainly because I kept putting it down and going "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" The ruffle is just a simple strip of fabric (folded in half so I didn't have to actually hem the edge...I never would have finished it if I did. The raw edges are sewn into a flat-felled seam, so they don't fray. This shantung is very fray-y) box-pleated to the body of the mantle. The mantle itself is two widths of 54" silk that I shaped I think it ended up being 13 widths of silk pleated up for the trim. Can you understand why I got tired of pleating? ;)
Rough cutout of the mantle. I did end up rounding the edges a little more.
The gloves were fun...the first pair I bought ended up not working at all in terms of length, so I ordered another pair from ebay and crossed my fingers they'd get here in time! Barely! They showed up in my mailbox Thursday afternoon for an event I was leaving Friday night for, and I had to squeeze in time to dye them! Squeaked by, there
Yes, dyed - very hard to find green gloves in that color and length, you know. White leather vintage gloves on ebay, though? Easy peasy. They didn't end up particularly even - in person the color is pretty mottled, but they look okay in pictures I think!
My hair was sort of funny - I had an unstyled curly wig laying around for ages that I'd planned to turn into 1790s hair, and I gave it a trim and a recurl a few days before the event. And managed to turn it into a Louis XIV wig. (Or maybe '80s Cher.) Either Less perm-y wig next time, thanks. So I curled the lower part of my own hair and plopped my small "hedgehog" wig on top. Worked pretty well, especially with a hat on top!
Shoes are courtesy of Payless...originally beige, painted to be a More Interesting Color.
And these last few pics are courtesy of In the Long Run.
We were lucky enough to have beautiful fall weather so spent some time enjoying ourselves out on the lawn.
Gaggle of pretty Regency ladies!


  1. Beautiful! I love the colors together, and your long hours of box-pleating were well worth the effort because that mantle is stunning.