JAFA 2016 Planning

Very little sewing occurred in the last few months of 2015. A difficult book and a book deadline, and about two months spent in Canberra with my mother’s illness and death definitely pushed sewing well down the priority list.

But 2016 is a new year, and the Jane Austen Festival is just 3 months away, so I’ve begun thinking about my wardrobe for this year. I have to be realistic, as time-wise I have many other things I must achieve in those three months as well, however, my outfits for JAFA last year were a long way short of ideal, and I’d love to do better this year.

First up – long stays. Yep, stays have been on ongoing challenge for me and my short dumpy figure. I was avoiding long stays – difficulty in fitting, difficulty in dressing by myself, claustrophic tendencies when I can’t get out of things quickly – but I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need them in order to get some firmness to my fluff.

I’ve so far adjusted the Laughing Moon Regency stays pattern to fit me, and have cut out the pieces of drill cotton. Hopefully I’ll get to work on them some more this weekend – and fingers crossed I can get them to work for me!

Over Christmas I did get the detachable sleeves added on to my light aqua poly-cotton sari dress, so that I can wear it with a chemisette as a day dress. My DH took some hurried photos – but I really should have checked that the upper sleeves were arranged properly before we did! The new sleeves are, I think, too long and perhaps too loose, so they’ll valium need some more work yet.

Aqua cotton Regency dress

As well as the sleeve issue,you can see why I need better stays. . . !

My possible plans for outfits are:

Thursday (workshops, pre-conference) – aqua cotton sari dress, chemisette, cap – already have

Friday – day (Georgian) – a mid 1790s block-print round gown (perhaps inspired by this one), perhaps with a mauve wool spencer; or I could wear my existing blue wrap dress.

Friday – evening (Georgian entertainment) – muslin gown based on Danish wedding dress, with an open robe based on a Janet Arnold pattern of an original.

Saturday – day – a day dress perhaps using the tan silk sari that I have; with a pelisse made from a darker brown, textured sari.

Saturday – evening – Napoleonic Ball – I could fix the mauve satin bib-front dress I stuffed up making last year, and wear it over my white broderie anglaise-edged petticoat. Or I could make something new . . .

Sunday – breakfast with the Bennetts – existing white muslin gown, with a new short muslin jacket based on an Ackermann fashion plate;

Sunday – morning workshops – breakfast gown with muslin jacket replaced by mauve spencer.

Sunday promenade – as for workshops, or perhaps make a pelisse out of the blue/purple wool I have?

Sunday Waverley Ball – probably the same outfit as above, but if I get super-organised I could make an 1820s dress (out of blue striped cotton from stash?) and wear it over a petticoat made from op-shop sheets with a wide embroidered border.

So that’s the current thinking, but it’s definitely subject to change! Stay tuned for developments . . .


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