Making this gown was great! It came together really quickly and I feel like I perfected the pattern I made last fall. Here are some notes and learning points about its construction...
c.1810 Gown, McCord Museum M982.20.1
I had gold silk in my stash reserved for another project, but since I needed a Regency ballgown in short order I decided this c.1810 gown from the McCord Museum was a better use for the swooshy stuff. In looking closely at the extant gown the "bandeau" type bodice is much like the pattern I made for my What Cheer Day gown. Since I was never really happy with how that gown fit, I used this chance to make a few alterations.
The skirt panels are the same, the bodice is the same but this time I used a lining. And I made a poofy sleeve pattern.
When I cut the bodice lining, I made it about 1.5in smaller than the bodice to minimize bulk from the drawstring.
Why do these gowns require so many drawstrings?
The sleeves on the McCord Museum gown are super poofy--but I couldn't get a good enough sense from the photo what makes it poof. I interpreted this with stroke gathers...
When making the stroke gathers, I found that it would work best to have a third hand. Since that's not feasible, here's another approach I tried:
1) I created the gather, then left the long thread. I didn't knot it, I didn't cut it. I just left it there.
2) I applied the band and sewed it on partway.
3) When I reached the point to attach the stroke gather to the band, I pulled the long thread to adjust the gathers so they aligned more tightly and together so I could whip stitch each gather in place.
Last but not least, the gown needs trim.
I used a neoclassical-looking gold braid just above the skirt hem.
The front of the bodice and the short, slightly puffed, sleeves are embellished with hand-made bobbin lace of a blonde type and chenille embroidery of running small floral motifs in an undulating line in stern stitch and leaf stitch ornamented with pearls. The lace is applied by the French insertion method. There is a small appliquéd leaf motif in matching pearls at the back of each sleeve. A narrow band of handmade bobbin lace torchon type, possibly a later addition, embellished with the same pearls, borders the hemline.