Getting started

Getting startedIt is time to start sewing! Since my latest post I have made a decision regarding the ensemble. I think. A ball requires formal wear or “full dress” in regency terms. Read more about full dress here and here. This is what I´ve got to work with. I have a vintage tailcoat of very good quality. I like the unconstructed style of early regency coats but this will have to do. I don´t have the skills nor energy to make a coat from scratch. (At least not this time.) This is more 1810-20´s and will match Mrs Elton´s finery. The lapels are silk, and should perhaps be velvet. Slightly too wide over the shoulders. Oh well. If there is time I´ll change the buttons (temporarily) for larger ones. Waistcoat: to be made out of cream white silk with a woven pattern and some scraps of white linen. Self covered buttons. Coloured waistcoats were popular in general but white was correct for formal wear. Breeches to be made of black silk. (Thought for a long on time pale yellow, though.) Trousers were becoming more common for daytime, but breeches were still regarded as more formal. Pocket for the fob watch. Don´t have a watch, but plan to simulate that with odd bits and pieces. Stockings: white. Could otherwise be black, when black breeches are worn. Fashionplates show both. Shoes: The popular boots were reserved for informal or semiformal dress. For a ball a gentleman should wear pumps. Yes it sounds weird, but opera pumps are correct to this day as formal wear. These can be ordered from Loake´s in the UK, but I don´t feel like spending £110. Perhaps a ballerina shoe in a larger size, with a masculine bow of black ribbon? Shirt: have white cotton batiste that could work. Or heavy, finely woven linen. The batiste for the essential cravat. Gloves: have a pair of white cotton, but will look for vintage evening gloves. No gentleman would go to a ball without gloves. Just remember to remove them when eating.

Accessories that I´ll most likely skip: a great coat or cloak, top hat, saddled horse/barouche.


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