FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Wild Card Prize - We loved this approach, she really set herself up to succeed (and did!). Lovely character design, and fit.
Waiting for Emma
Outline the story …
This Regency era muslin gown is inspired by Harriet Smith of Jane Austen's novel 'Emma'. The gown is plain yet fashionable, reflecting both Harriet's social position and Emma's influence through the addition of a pretty trimmed hat. I find Harriet to be very relatable in certain ways - being quick to trust people you like, falling in love too easily... Additionally, the pandemic put some financial limits onto this project, and therefore I wanted to focus on a character who, besides being one of my favorites, did not require endless yards of expensive lace and silks. I was initially inspired after watching the 2020 movie adaptation of Emma, and went on to read the book. This inspired me to start my historical sewing journey and create a look that captured the naivete and sweetness of Harriet. As the title states, I picture Harriet waiting patiently for Emma - perhaps to take a stroll.
I wanted the ensemble to look 'historically adequate' and therefore sought most of my inspiration in fashion plates from around 1810. The muslin gown was extremely popular at the time, and I absolutely had to make one, especially since its delicacy and brightness fits Harriet so well. I made everything in this ensemble except for the scarf, shoes, and stockings, which were storebought, and the crocheted reticule which was made by a family friend.
Outline the construction…
The underpinnings (chemise and short stays) were my first ever sewing projects They went together more easily than I would have thought, and were almost entirely constructed out of thrifted materials (tablecloths, bedsheets, tie-rips, etc ) The pattern was Sense and Sensibility Patterns' Regency Underthings There are definite construction errors in these garments, but I have learned many new techniques on the way After that, I chose Laughing Moon Mercantile's #126 pattern to make a gown out of cotton voile The gown is a bib-front type with removable sleeves and was entirely sewn by hand The bodice is lined in a thrifted synthetic fabric and the bib front was altered with gathers to create a more distinct V-shaped neckline I also added a plain ruffle along the hem as seen in many fashion plates of the time The chemisette was sadly not entirely finished, yet functionable I chose to sew with a sheer fabric for the first time, selecting a silk organza The petticoat was constructed in just two days and was of my own design, made out of an old pair of curtains Finally, the hat is entirely designed and made by me from cornflakes boxes, tape and glue, a satin table cloth, and ribbons and flowers for trimming (attached with pins and glue due to cardboard base). During the entirety of this project I relied a lot on Youtube and Pinterest for information on sewing techniques, extant garments, fashion plates, and advice of those who made similar garments.