I made this drop-front dress for Lauren, for a photo-shoot for potential cover-images for a novella I’m writing. As I had to make most of it without fitting her – we live 800km apart – I used the S&S Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern that Lauren has used before as a base and adapted it for a drop front. I used the bodice back as-is, the bodice lining piece from the pattern to cut the front under-bodice, and I adapted the short sleeve pattern by adding a couple of inches of length at the centre of the sleeve and curving it around to the seams.
The fabric is just a poly satin (deluxe satin from Spotlight) but it does have a nice drape. We may add a little ribbon decoration to the neckline and sleeves.
I was in Canberra for a few days last weekend so we did the final fitting of the bodice, and sewed on and hemmed the skirt. The novella is set in Yorkshire in the cold, wet summer of 1816, so we had to hunt for a suitable location in Canberra spring that might look suitably English! We found a few spots in Yarralumla where the foliage wasn’t Australian (or bare, wintry oaks).
Lauren’s father (my brother-in-law) took most of these photos and I’m hoping I’ll be able to organise a book cover design using one of them. But whether they work for that or not, Lauren has a new dress for the Jane Austen Festival next year!