FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Regency Snow Queen
Outline the story …
My inspiration for this year’s fairy tale theme is based on an illustration of the "Snow Queen" by Edmund Dulac which I have adored since childhood. The original set of seven stories was written by Hans Christian Andersen and published in 1844. While I remembered the story of the Mirror of Distortion which shattered and one shard entered the heart and the other the eye of a little boy named Kai and that his childhood playmate Gerda endured many trials to return him back to a normal boy, I did not remember many other details other than Gerda found him in the hall of the Snow Queen. Only the image of the Snow Queen sitting on a throne of ice in chilly shades of celadon greens lingered. I was fascinated by the sheerness of her clothes and her beautiful sparkly diadem. Her stare was compelling.
I originally planned on using both period correct fabrics and patterns from the 1790s. The studio fairies had other plans and hid the seafoam silk for the under dress. I had almost finished the sheer spencer. What to do?! In the rummaging for the silk, I came across the silver fabric that I had used for my daughter’s prom dress. Quick check on the internet found sparkly snowflake fabric and my entire idea had shifted from subdued to sparkly. The challenge then became hand sewing fabrics that were better off serged and keeping the bling to 1790s esthetics.
The fairies have not returned my fabric.
Outline the construction…
I am a garment industry trained pattern drafter. For the last 20 years I have worked with museums to document and draft original garments into full scale patterns for the home sewing market. I publish these patterns under the Fig Leaf Patterns® (FLP) name.
I reset the time period to the late 1790s to use historic patterns but non-period fabrics for outer wear. I wore period correct linen for the shift and corset (unseen). I wore FLP111 (shift), FLP207 (corset), FLP214 silver dress, FLP211 sheer snowflake bodiced petticoat, FLP218 sheer spencer, FLP217 sleeveless spencer with additional train. All garments are handsewn using period construction techniques.
Other than a trail of silver sparkles all over the house, the most challenging aspect was the construction of the silk organza long sleeve spencer. Copying a technique used in a muslin canezou I documented, I stitched twill tape along the armscyes and back seams in order to strengthen the fabric. I sewed french seams for the sleeves.
While waiting for the ordered fabric to appear, I constructed the silver dress. Once it arrived, I decided to use the green snowflake as an over dress instead of the outermost layer. I then decided to make the sleeveless spencer with train reversible with white snowflake on one side and silver eyelash on the other. Since these were synthetic textiles, raveling was an issue; I cut the fabrics with minimal seams which is in keeping with 1790s style. Luckily all the fabrics worked well together.