Jane Austen

The revelation

As I was relaxing with a cup of tea and the internet, I stumbled across a page for the Jane Austen Festival in England. I can not speak for anyone else, but I certainly got a touch over excited about this. So over excited in fact I nearly spilled my tea. How did I not know about this festival? How did I not know that there was an event I could get dressed up in regency era finery? Take part in a promenade or even attend a ball.

Jane Austen Festival, Bath

The Plan

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. 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 a regency wardrobe for myself and my husband. Yes I have his full 100% committal, costumes included, for the event if it hopefully comes back next year. If not, Mr Heeran and I will look rather dapper while out grocery shopping.

Thank you mum

I grew up with Jane Austens Pride and Prejuice 1980 BBC version . 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. With the addition of Emma, Sense and sensibility it was inevitable that I would become enthralled with all things regency. Now I have a valid reason to wear it.

Jennifer Garvie and David Rintoul

Research without a clue

Inspired as I was, I went through my sewing stash. Yes, I have a sewing stash along with my wool stash. I had to see what I could use. If I had any books with patterns or even historical fashion information in them. It is difficult to know where to start with our costumes. I would like to get them as historically adaquate as possible. Naturally I had to sit down and watch all versions of pride and prejudice again. Purely for research purposes of course.

Which Mr Darcy is your favorite?

Its amazing how much information there is to gleam from the internet on Regency era fashions for women. It is just as surprising was how little information there is for mens fashions. After a few false starts I found an extremely helpful facebook group. They pointed me in the direction of a website called Nehelenia Patterns. They had exactly what I was looking for. Mixed in with some modern Butterick and McCalls costume patterns I am all set.

Progress

If you follow me on Facebook or on Instagram, you will be aware that Ive made my first test piece. It is a toile of the Womens short jacket or spenser jacket. I found it shockingly easy to do considering, its maybe the second garment that I have ever sewn to date. I will not include the waist coat I was required to make for my third year exams in school. Lets face it not even a model from one of Picasso’s paintings would even be able to wear it. My home economics teacher Miss Dempsey had her heart broken trying to teach me the basics of garment sewing.

Jacket test pieces

For any one interested in seeing how the spenser jacket turned out you can read it here