September 20, 2009 Jennie Chancey

Dress-up Day at Kensington Palace…

...and buttons them up.

As I mentioned in my last post, Cathy Hay brought a surprise show-and-tell outfit with her to share with the ladies. When she opened her large suitcase and pulled it out, Cassie began fanning herself like she was about to swoon! Turns out she’d been following Cathy’s live journal of the recreation of this stunning outfit, and when Cathy asked for a volunteer model, Cassie immediately waved her hand enthusiastically. Because she was also very close to the same height and build as Cathy, it was a perfect match!

Since we weren’t in a place that had a dressing room, Cassie couldn’t put on the chemise and go quite whole hog, but you can see below that she tried everything else, much to our delight:

First, on goes the flounced petticoat (dripping with gorgeous Nottingham lace)...

First, on goes the flounced petticoat (dripping with gorgeous Nottingham lace)…

Next, the beautiful corset goes 'round the waist...

Next, the beautiful corset goes ’round the waist…

And Cathy laces it up...

And Cathy laces it up…

Then the incredible skirt with hand-applied oak leaves over Duchesse satin...

Then the incredible skirt with hand-applied oak leaves over Duchesse satin…

Closer view of the amazing skirt...

Closer view of the amazing skirt…

On with the bodice...

On with the bodice…

Closer view (you can see how pleased Cassie is!)

Closer view (you can see how pleased Cassie is!)

Cathy has fastened the intricate hooks and eyes, and Cassie dons the gloves...

Cathy has fastened the intricate hooks and eyes, and Cassie dons the gloves…

...and buttons them up.

…and buttons them up.

Now Cassie sweeps 'round the room to give us all the complete view...

Now Cassie sweeps ’round the room to give us all the complete view…

The ladies all enjoy drooling over details...

The ladies all enjoy drooling over details…

Look at that train!

Look at that train!

Detail view of the oak leaf motifs -- and, yes, Cathy hand-applied all 420!

Detail view of the oak leaf motifs — and, yes, Cathy hand-applied all 420!

We turn up the hem to see the first layer with pleated ruffle beneath...

We turn up the hem to see the first layer with pleated ruffle beneath…

And the inner layer with oodles of flounce for fullness.

And the inner layer with oodles of flounce for fullness.

Cassie goes out into the long Orangerie hall for the runway effect. Stunning!

Cassie goes out into the long Orangerie hall for the runway effect. Stunning!

Then, having reluctantly returned the ensemble, she thanks Cathy. Oh, what fun!

Then, having reluctantly returned the ensemble, she thanks Cathy. Oh, what fun!

Thank you, thank you to Cathy Hay for coming down all the way from Nottingham to share with our group and let us all handle her “Holy Grail outfit.” She asked how many of us have these–the one amazing costume we want to accomplish before we die. Lots of hands up around the room! And we all left inspired to tackle those dream projects.

After our delicious lunch at the Orangerie, we headed out into the pouring rain for the Museum of London, where we were able to spend an hour at a private study table with costume curator Hilary Davidson, seeing extant garments up close. Unfortunately, only private study photographs were allowed — nothing I am permitted to post! Only wish you could have been there to see the 1780s gown of hand-embroidered and tamboured India muslin, the 1820 pelisse, a doll’s Regency stays, a to-die-for Edwardian tea gown, and more!

Next time I’ll share about our Wednesday in Greenwich!

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About the Author

Jennie Chancey I launched Sense & Sensibility Patterns in 1998 with my original Regency Gown pattern. I never dreamed I'd one day have over two dozen patterns on the market and would be leading tours yearly in the UK! Enjoy my blog, and let me know if you'd like to travel with us!

Comments (12)

  1. Tiifany

    Oh wow! That was an awesome dress! If I were in Cassie’s place, I wouldn’t want to take it off either!

  2. AnnaMae Ouimet

    What a stunning gown!!!! I recall coming across it when it was still in progress, so fun to see it all finished.

  3. chantal

    absolutely stunning dress. Cassie wore it well. wow thanks for the pictures you are inspiring me.

  4. Oh – and of course, thank you Cassie for being such a statuesque model! It was wonderful to admire the dress on someone else for the first time!

  5. AlyJoy

    That is absolutely a stunning piece of perfection. I wouldn’t want to take it off either!! Beautiful designs

  6. Sarah H.

    Oh, how beautiful! Cassie, I am so glad you were able to do that!

    See you soon!

    -Sarah Beth

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