Monday, April 7, 2014

Regency dressing questions answered!

I would like to preface this blog post with the statement that I am by far NOT the end all be all authority on the dressing traditions and rotations of a regency lady, but I like to think that as in our world, there was guidelines that were adhered to in varying degrees.

So, at the request of a lady friend, Mrs. Dean, here we go.

A ladies day was full of many things, and based on your social status, your dressing schedule was marked by the times of day.

Morning dress.

Ladies of the ton, or the upper ten thousand were the ladies of leisure and dressed accordingly. Upon waking, you would have your morning wrapper over your night rail with your mob cap covering you hair that was still in rag curls from the evening before. This is what you would take your morning chocolate and toast in your room with your maid.

After you had some time to collect your thoughts and plan your wardrobe for the day, you would dress in your morning gown and go down to breakfast, which was usually at 10, or when ever you, as the lady of the house stipulated the breakfast sideboard to be layed out. There were various ways to
dress, here are some examples.

 The Afternoon gown is so varied.  Depending on whether you are in an afternoon gown waiting for callers with your mob cap and your long skirt, or taking a ride on your stallion in your riding habit, the fit is different.  A riding habit would be masculine, military and include a long train to hide your legs while riding side saddle. A walking gown would be long, just above your feet so that you could stroll and walk at a sedate but comfortable pace, with 3/4 or full length sleeves under a Spencer or Pelisse with your gloves and your hat and appropriate walking shoes. Boots for the country, sturdy but fashionable shoes for the fashionable hour at Hyde Park. Your Carriage dress could be a full pelisse, or a riding habit. The regency lady would better be able to answer the little nuances between a walking gown, an afternoon gown and a visiting ensemble. Here are a couple of my favorite examples

Evening gowns have to be the iconic Regency gown and most popular for the introduction to regency dressing. It is really simple, ankle length skirt for dancing ease, short sleeves, not necessarily puffy and a low cut bodice. The amount of decoration, or "fru-fru" as some call it, is dependent upon taste. I personally like a longer skirt to hold while I'm dancing, and a non-puffy sleeve with elegant decoration. Here are a few of my favorites:

The whole point is to feel pretty, and love what you are wearing. Take these as guidelines, loose guidelines to make your complete wardrobe.

Your servant
Mrs. Nora Azevedo, Modiste
and A Baronets' Daughter

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All sorts of new things....UPDATE

So, what has been going on in the Pacific Northwest? So many things! As many of you may know, being on the Leadership Board of the ORS means that there is planning and events going on all the time. I have been fortunate enough to be one the planners of the Annual Regency Retreat!! I have to say, above and beyond the whole idea, the location and the fact that so many new people will be there, I'm pretty proud of how our whole leadership team has gotten this coordinated, planned and we are a fantastic team! As a part of our website, we have a new page on the website, the "Who's who" of the leadership team, and we had very special photos taken. We had a professional to take our pictures in our finest gowns. Thanks to Mrs. Johanesen, our photos look like oil paintings. Including of our newest leader, our only Junior leader Miss Lilyan . Yes, you can squee:

 She is really about 40 in the body of a 12 year old and she is great at google-ing event sites and has lots to include. I'm pretty proud.

I also got my photos taken too. My Favorites being the one with Lily..cause, well..its silly

So, believe it or not, the white gown is all handmade, and has gold trimming. I felt very grecian in it, which leads me to the other awesome thing...which is under it!  Originally I had my "push them to the sky" stays, which of course have a time and place, but I wanted to wear my more comfortable rose stays and COULDN'T FIND THEM ANY WHERE so, what did I do? Yup, I made new ones. :) I wont bore you with construction details (but will gladly answer any questions you may have). I decided to go with front closers. Its easier to get in and than the "to busk or not to busk" question is moot. The pattern was altered from an altered pattern from Mrs. Johanesen loosely based on the Sense and Sensibility pattern. I quilted them, I made what felt like ridiculously too spread open gussets and spiral lacing and replaceable silk ribbon straps. No, as you can see above, I had no sitting problems, and the ladies dont make you feel or look like stuffed sausage. Plus size ladies deserve to look this beautiful.

Now, Im thinking I need new chemise and petticoats. I used to think of them as just blah things no one needs to see, but I have come to a place in my sewing, where the details matter. It took some time, but I finally finished a velvet Spencer jacket for my Patroness. It took months of picking it up, putting it down, taking it apart, swapping the sleeves...but now...its done.


 I  have been a little busy. Can you tell?

So my parting words are this: I love to sew. I would love to sew for you. Or have tea. My studio is always open.

As always, your servant
Mrs. Azevedo,
Modiste and A Baronets' Daughter.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

An Anglophile Janite has a Francophile cousin????

So, as some as you may have guessed, I'm a Janite and Anglophile through and though. How could I ever be related to a Francophile???Well, its true, and I'm not ashamed. Brittany is one of only three girls born to my fathers' family. So, its important to me that she get to reach her goal of going to France. Im hoping one day to get her into regency/empire goodness, but now she is too busy working and going to school, including college classes. So, instead of a shameless plug for me, Im shamelessly plugging my cousin.

Please click here and help send Brittany to France.

As always, your servant
Mrs, Azevedo, A Baronets Daughter

Saturday, January 25, 2014

YAY! Its time again for the 2nd Annual Jane Austen Faire! And I have been asked to be a vendor again!!

I am open to any and all ideas for things that you would like to see on my table. Any and all comments are appreciated!!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

American Duchess, Clocked Stockings and the Plus Sized girl-a review

You know American Duchess right? A petite lady of taste and refinement who is a historic shoe enthusiast? Lets face it, is just a shoe addiction. Well, if you don't know about AD, sit down. Allow me to introduce you. Mrs Stowell has a line of shoes, from the new 1580 Stratford to the 1930 Claremonts. As I am primarily a regency enthusiast, I love the Georgianas and Kensingtons (I own a pair in black to wear with my transitional gowns) as well as the Pemberlies and Highburys (mine are finally on the way to my greedy hands)

Sticker shock warning-These are not cheap or inexpensive. The Hartfield Regency boots are leather and $178 dollars. The operative phrase is "not cheap". These aren't some flimsy shoe manufactured by slave labor in sweatshops that you can get at your local payless for under $20 bucks. No, these are meticulously researched, carefully designed and quality checked so much that I have waited almost a year for my Highburys. But money well spent? Oh hell yeah.The imperfects can be had for less, but seriously, not sure what she finds so imperfect but for the history buff on a budget imperfects are a good option. Quality over Quantity and all that rot. Seriously, that is how AR she is about selling only the best.  And, she offers a payment/layaway plan.

AD also has accessories. Every day I hear plus sized beauties state that accessories are the only things that fit and as a knee high sock enthusiast, I say NAY. I have, for the record, 17 inch calves. The average knee high only stretches, at the limit, to about a 16. Don't even get me started on knee high boots..but thats another post.

So, to go with my favorite shoes in the world, my black Kensingtons, I wanted clocked stocking. Covet is a better description, and while AD wants to accommodate the plus size lady in the issue of hosiery, the sad reality is, more often than not, a queen size, much less larger is hard to come by and not necessarily quality. This is no fault of hers, its out of her hands. I have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Stowell, and speaking with her about this and if she could, she would offer plus sizes.

I was hesitant still, but her advent calendar offered 50% off so I risked it and purchased them. I should have a while back as she has an amazing return policy.

Shipping was crazy fast and before I knew it, this was in my mail box!!!

They were so long, and silky and buttery smooth.....I really did squee... and with the assurance they stretched to 21 inches (along with a photo of them on Mr. C) I put them on and they fit!

So, ok..lets be realistic..they arent going to go all the way up your thigh..unless you are a petite beauty. They will go as far up as just over my knee and than they roll.. That is to be expected since they are silk. So, in order for comfort and the same type of look, I folded them down and than halfway up so that the black knitting on top showed.


Over view, if you are a larger lady, go for it. Go to her website, get yourself a little profile going (lets not kid ourselves, you will need shoes, and buckles and all manner of lovelies) and buy these stockings. If you are hesitant, don't be. If for some reason, they don't fit...don't fear, AD will take them back.

Support small business, rock your inner history nerd and when you have ordered your gown from me, finish your look with shoes, buckles, and clocked stockings by American Duchess.

Good night

Mrs. Azevedo
Modiste, and A Baronets Daughter

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Long overdue goodies!

So, I have been MIA lately. Things went down with the Sellwood House and we had to move now, we are safely at Jennings Lodge. My studio is complete
I also have a new friend, her name is Lilyan...we call her Miss Lily, she is 12, she is silly and she lets me dress her up. Say Hi Lily!
She is really silly, and looks lovely and the entire ORS pretty much wants to dress her up. She has Steph willing to make her some stays,  and Mari, my biggest client, is giving her some Robert Land shoes...yeah, I told her she was spoiled, she said she was living the high life. yeah.
her 12th birthday present

sleeve before

sleeve after

hem of the skirt

one happy Lily.

the first gown she made (mostly) by herself
Oh yeah, Lily is a piece of work. :)

So in October, Amanda and I went to the Wedding of Miss Maggie Waterman and Mr Albert Roberts. So lovely, it was at The Hermitage, yes, President Jacksons' digs. Photos were limited, due to the venue but we had some lovely pics and were lucky to be invited as it was a select group. We were also very lucky to meet and stay with Mrs. Bennett Nelson who is most definitely one of my favorite people I have met.
completely hand sewn white lawn for the wedding.

the hat to go with

the peacock frock

The most lovely ladies, Mrs Gentry, Mrs Nelson and myself

 I took some much needed R and R When I got back. The venue, the ceremony, the fireflies and cicadas in the sultry evening...yeah, a beautiful Tennessee adventure.

Next up, The Duchess' Dinner. At the The Portland White House we had a a delicious meal, seriously elegant Bed and Breakfast with a staff of whom I can not sing the praises of this place enough for! The menu included rabbit and pheasant and good laughs and fun!
The whole group

the triumvirate of Awesome

Celine loaned me the amazing tiara.

After dinner cards with Lady Sully and the good Mr. Bellini

the entryway

the dining room

pre dinner drinks

the Texas Tiara.

Eliza "helped"

Mari's Duchess dinner gown.

She gave me American Duchess shoes!!!!

And lastly, but not least, my first window dressing at the Ribbonry and Button Emporium with the dress I made for Mari for Phi's party, but she didn't get a chance to wear it.

There is more, sewing and playing and kitties, but its past my bed time.

Mrs. Azevedo, Modiste and A Baronets Daughter.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Regency Stays in a day

I know what you are thinking, a DAY? No way! well, yes way! :)

Stays are traditionally one of the hardest things for a lady to make. Lets face it, we are all shaped different and all have different levels of skills. Even for the well versed dressmaker, sometimes stays can be something that is daunting.
I'll admit, the first set of stays I ever made were a disaster, and as I made seconds and third attempts, they got better and better. Now, I am no where near an A+ in some ways, in others, I don't mind saying, I'm worth every penny. How do I know? Well, last post on stays continues to get more hits than any other and because I have successfully gotten the "assets" of the ladies who have purchased Stays from me to the proper regency silhouette, which when we get down to the nitty gritty, really is the whole point.

Now, I primarily cater to the Plus Size women, as it is harder for them to go on say, Etsy and order something pre-made in their size and, and I have to say, every shape is quite lovely and a unique challenge.

So, back to Stays in a Day. Start was around 3:30pm after my customer had come down from Seattle and we had spent quality time drooling over her sari fabric. (I stole some so I could make a regency gown for her out of it)

We started by getting her into a set of stays of mine to see how I might need to make adjustments to the pattern. (they are my favorite set, btw.)

They just needed a few tweeks and some different bone placement, so I cut pieces and went for it.

About 6 hours in...I had three layers sewn together and half the boning in.

We broke for dinner at Cartlandia (yes, I'm a gastronomically spoiled Portlander) and than we got back to it.

Rest of the bones and the binding going...we were almost done.

Note that the cups protrude a bit, that is because unlike myself.. this customer has more to work with and needs to be properly formed. She also chose the fashion fabric as she loved it. It looks brown in the pictures, but its really purple. This wont be a problem as most of her wardrobe are jewel tones and dark colors.

I know, you are wondering where the straps are? Well, Straps have been and can be put on in a few ways. She wanted more adjustability in straps that are ties on both front and back.

It was perfect.

Yes, the back is spiral laced, which is both crazy comfortable and period correct.

We were done and she was on her way home around 1:30. I was bushed, but it was worth it. Happy Lady, happy assets and I know she will look amazing in her regency finest at the Washington Regency Society Retreat. :)

Another set of Stays I have finished were completely different, as the ladies in question were completely different.

These work the same just on a different shaped lady. She looked lovely in this gown I made for her

Yes, Indian Cotton of Drool. I know. ebay ladies, ebay.

Well, there is more in the works right now, including gown for an 11 year old lady who isn't quite "out" yet, but will be attending the ORS 6th Annual Pittock Mansion Picnic, plus a rush order on a white silk halter dress and a pair of fall front pants I have neglecting....and than MORE TO COME since the REGENCY RETREAT OF EPIC is closing in!


Mrs. Azevedo, Modiste and A Baronets' Daughter.