A dear bloggy friend who shall remain nameless (she knows who she is...) was recently teasing me about my inability to keep a secret. We were chatting away on Gmail and the topic of Anne-girl's approaching fifteenth birthday came up. I could not remember how the friend who shall remain nameless might have known that Anne-girl's birthday was coming close, so I asked and she responded with: "You, being as silent as the grave, of course, mentioned on the blog that you are making a Regency-era dress for her birthday and that you told her so way before her birthday."
This (to quote Mr. Knightley) is true. But it is also true that I was compelled to tell the dear girl about the dress in order to make sure that it fit. Because you know, it's a dreadful thing, Sparkler, to make a dress and find it doesn't fit. Especially if it's a first attempt. (The practice dress I made out of bedsheets does not count, and only Melody will ever know just how dreadful that one was... let's just say I have now learned which end of the skirt is supposed to go At the Top.) So Anne-girl was accordingly told about the dress, fittings were held, measurements were taken, and then the sewing machine was whisked out and a great deal of work ensued, accompanied by my beloved Pandora (because I cannot sew without music).
The great day arrived, the dress was duly unwrapped and oohed and ahhed over, and shortly thereafter Anne-girl and I hied ourselves to the backyard with my trusty camera to do a Marianne Dashwood photo shoot. (I dubbed it a Marianne Dashwood shoot because Anne-girl's hair reminds me of Marianne. Someone back me up on this.)
Due to privacy concerns and creepers on the Internet and flying purple pirate monsters, we have elected to share only the pictures that do not show Sister Dear's face, as I'm sure you will all understand. You can scroll to the top of the page for a front view of the dress...
...and here is the back view.
Oh, and at this point I should say that I used Simplicity Patter 4055, dress B, which turned out to be quite simple once I understood the directions and had some help from Melody. (A friend in need is a friend who flies to her computer and frantically emails her Tween for advice when the placket instructions don't make sense. A friend indeed is a friend who promptly emails back with minute instructions and is even kind enough to scan a pattern piece into her computer when the friend in need is so silly as to lose piece 17.)
I love how the back is so nice and full for ease of movement.
"But I've BEEN on a walk today!"
"You need another!"
When the photo shoot was over, Anne looked at her hair with the help of a hand mirror and said, "How did you do THAT?" (She's expert at complex hairstyles. I do ponytails.)
"Um, I grabbed it and bunched it flat against your head and stuck hairpins in until it stayed up without my hand."
"Yeah... well, it's falling out."
Humph. It was pretty while it lasted.
The dress pattern does not call for trim on the sleeves, but I felt the black lace added a little flair to them and dressed it up a wee bit. The sleeves are not intended to be this length, either, but at Melody's suggestion I shortened them from their original wrist-length. I like them better this way.
"Oh, those Lucases are such artful people indeed. They are all for what they can get! However, your coming just at this time is the greatest of comforts. And we are very pleased to hear what you tell us about the latest fashions for long sleeves."
~Mrs. Bennet, P&P95