One afternoon last week I was sitting back and relaxing with a cuppa and some biccies while taking a nosey through the google machine. I stumbled across a page for the Jane Austen Festival in England. I don’t know about you but I certainly got a little over excited about this to the point where I spilled my tea and nearly choked on my biscuit. How did I not know about this festival? How did I not know that there was a time and a place where I could get dressed up in regency era finery and take part in a promenade or even attend a ball?
Well I know about it now and I will not let the opportunity slip away. Unfortuately like everything else in 2020 the Jane Austen festival has been canceled for this year. But I am very hopeful that they will be able to proceed with normal programming for next year. That gives me a little over a year to make mine and my husbands (yes I have his full 100% committal) costumes for the event if it hopefully comes back next year. If not we are going to look rather dapper while out doing the grocery shopping.
I grew up with Jane Austens Pride and Prejuice 1980 BBC version , and as far as my mother is concerned the ONLY version, on the TV. I guess I can thank my mother for my love of period dramas and the amazing costumes that they wear. Add on to that Emma and Sense and sensibility and I was enthralled with all things regency and now I have a valid reason to cosplay it.
Inspired as I was I went through my sewing stash (yes I have a sewing stash along with my wool stash) to see what I could use or if I had any books with patterns or even historical fashion information in them to know where to start with our costumes as I would like to get them as historically accurate as possible and of course I had to sit down and watch all versions of pride and prejudice again (for the hundredth time this year)…. purely for research purposes.
Its amazing how much information there is to gleam from the internet on Regency era fashions for women and just as surprising was how little information there is for mens fashions. Plently of photos to be had but no actualy detail or even patterns. After a few false starts and an extremely helpful facebook group later I managed to find a website called Nehelenia Patterns that had exactly what I was looking for. Mixed in with some Butterick and McCalls costume patterns I am all set.
If you follow me on Facebook or on Instagram you will be aware that Ive made my first test piece of the Womens short jacket that I found shockingly easy to do considering that its maybe the second garment that I have ever sew in my life. Im not including the waist coat I had to make for my junior cert year in school because lets face it not even a model from one of Picasso’s paintings would even be able to wear it.
I am quite chuffed with how it turned out and I am doing a separate blog post on that for any one interested in seeing how it turned out you can read it here