|All of Soliloquy just before we sang our first show. Top (L to R) Karen, Sherry, Nancy. Middle (L to R) Me, Vicky, Lisa. Bottom: Peggy. I love how this picture turned out!|
Before I start blogging what I've been making this year (which has been pretty good so far), I need to go back and blog the things I wasn't able to around Christmas. The big project was undoubtedly making this dress:
Regency Gown by Sense & Sensibility Patterns, which was apparently chosen for it's historical accuracy. I had to grade up the pattern to a size 20 for my muslin, but ended up taking out quite a bit so I'm guessing it was actually a size 18 when I finished. In my muslin I noticed how short the bodice was - I know I'm longer than average from shoulder to underbust, but I had to add 2.5 inches to the bodice length just to get it to go under my boobs! That's pretty crazy. I had some excess fabric bunching up on my back along the princess seams, so I shortened the overall back bodice side pieces, which worked, but it caused the armscye to be problematic. I made the sleeves several times, letting them out and whatnot, but to no avail. In the end I just reused the previous sleeves off the finished dress since they were still intact and then at least fit my arms. Our director (who also sews) originally told me to just make up the bodice and replace the skirt with some new cotton eyelet material he bought. He said to just gather it up and sew it to the bodice. This became a problem just on its own since the bodice piece is gathered to the waist PLUS now the skirt would be gathered and there was no waistband to secure them to. I had to gather things to what seemed to measure right and then hope for the best as I stitched it up. This was the result:
So now for the fun bit of this post: The actual reason for making this dress :) My singing group, Soliloquy, was selected to sing at two of the Walt Disney World Hotels as part of their annual hotel entertainment program. We sang at the Port Orleans Riverside Hotel on Monday, December 19th at 8:30 am (oof) and 9:30 am. We sang our set list of Regency Era Christmas carols outside the lobby on a little deck area as guests passed by. We had quite a few stop to listen - one man in particular stayed fro both of our shoes with a big smile on his face the whole time :) This is a selection of what we sang that day:
And this was me all dressed up and ready for our first show :) Notice the awesome hat! I didn't make that - I didn't have the mental strength at the time, lol. I dig the feathers, though not so much what I came to call my "mother hubbard ruffle". I had to tuck all my hair inside the bonnet since my new hair cut is not quite in line with regency era fashion.
In spite of the frustration at the time of making my dress and December being such a crazy mess, this whole experience was a total blast. I mean ... I got to sing at Disney! As a private group! How many people get to say that?! Now that my dress is made, I'm all set for the same thing next year (fingers crossed we are selected again!), so it should be a bit less stressful next time around. We had our little issues during performing just like every singing group does, but I'm just taking away the fun and honor of it all. Here's to many more years of singing at Disney with Soliloquy!
Fabric: salvaged blue poly satin stuff, 3 yards of white cotton eyelet, white poly cotton lining
Pattern: Regency Gown by Sense & Sensibility Patterns
Notions: salvaged silver trim, salvaged buttons, blue thread
Time: probably 15 - 20 hours or so total