Thursday, October 17, 2013

Elegant Lady's Closet Drawstring Gown Review

If you are in a time crunch but still want something new to wear for the Georgian picnic, I can highly recommend Sensibility.com's Elegant Lady's Closet pattern, specifically the drawstring gown. I've made it five times now, and one of those times I made it in a week, with a newborn baby.

The thing I love the most about this pattern (aside from its sheer simplicity) is its very forgiving design. The drawstring aspect to it allows for a lot of fluctuation in weight of the wearer, so precise fitting isn't really necessary. This trait also makes it ideal as a loaner when you want to entice friends along on a costumed adventure.



Additionally, if you wear a very "lifting" bra or good fitting sports bra, you can get a decent facsimile of the correct silhouette for the Regency period. I've totally cheated in this way, especially when I still had my little nursling. Ideally, of course, I prefer Regency short stays to get the perfect silhouette. However, if you're in a rush or want to do a quick one-off, then go for it. I also have worn this dress with a long, modern slip, and another time with a Victorian petticoat that I just hiked up to my under-bust with safety-pinned shoulder straps to hold it in position.

As for the pattern itself, the directions are clear and easy to follow, with useful illustrations. I’m a very visual learner, so the illustrations were key. Also, because her patterns are so often used, there are a lot of very useful resources on her website, like tutorials, videos, and other extensive tips and tricks.

Here are the samples that I myself have made…

First run through was in a light weight pink cotton:



Second was the one I put together super quickly, soon after my son was born. This one has an elastic neckline, which was done for the ease of nursing my little one:



And a full length shot:



Third was as a Christmas gift for my niece:



An action shot:



On the fourth go around, I took liberties and turned it into a chemise dress out of a very fine cotton voile. For this one, I simply added extra fabric to the front (bodice and skirt) and extra fabric to the skirt in the back to get the look I wanted.



And the fifth and most recent rendition, I followed a tutorial done by Mme. du Jards Atelier and made a spencer.



I've only made the dress with the long sleeves and the elbow length sleeves, but it also comes with a pattern for short puffy sleeves for another variation.

I've definitely gotten great use from this pattern, and highly recommend it to the beginning costumer for a great start in the Regency era. I also would recommend it to the more experienced costumer who is looking for a quick, simple gown in an era that they may not have done.


UPDATE 3/23/15:
Since writing this review, I've made it two more times. This one (#6) is modified into a drop front gown:



And this one (#7), on the other hand, is made pretty much exactly to pattern specs, using the short puff sleeves (I'm wearing the white chemise gown underneath):



3 comments:

  1. I do agree with you thought that if you wear a right bra you can feel more comfortable. As, we all know that bras are available in many types and designs. It is necessary to select a right fitted bra so that you will not face any problem when you go outside. A right foot bra saves you from many problems.
    Reference:
    http://www.sheerluxurylingerie.com/bras.html/

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  2. The dress is even more beautiful in person! It is a bit big as expected but my seamstress said no problem on taking it in to fit me exact and she couldn't believe the price either.
    Antonio Melani

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  3. Review updated to add two more gowns made using this pattern.

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