Last fall, the DFWCG was planning to do a Regency fairy-themed tea party. The tea party plans fell through, so the event was re-cast as the Picnic with the Pixies, not specifically Regency. But I was already in love with my idea. Last week I received the one critical piece that will make it work, so finally, the unveiling of...
The Paisley Pixie!
I've had lots of inspiration for this idea. I wanted to have a real dress that could easily be de-pixified, so the fairy elements had to be separate from the gown itself.
The biggest influence is Katherine's Regency fairy, with her paper wings made from Jane Austen text. I loved this atypical interpretation of the fairy idea, and I wanted to do something similarly unusual.
The skirt length is perfect, just short enough, but not requiring the visible underskirt. More importantly, I love the look of the short sleeves with long white sleeves. I could have two pair of long sleeves, one muslin, and one self fabric, for three looks. With a moderately-low bodice, this dress can do either day or evening duty in nearly all seasons.
I had some difficulty finding a pattern to adapt. I finally settled on the Patterns of Fashion bib-front gown as a base for the bodice and sleeves. Although it's dated to very early Regency, it's really only the trained skirt (and maybe the very high back waist) that make it so. I've adapted the sleeves, particularly to shorten the top sleeve so it's puffier and no longer than the waistline.
The bib front itself is going to be pleated and drawn in. This silk gown isn't a drop-front dress, but it's almost perfect for copying. I hope the wool doesn't have too much body to do this.
I'm using one of the Hunnisett skirts, one with a lot of flared edges. I'm concerned that a front skirt that falls straight from my ribs will pull across my wide hips, so I'm also cutting down the center front skirt at the waist a little. The apron front should allow plenty of room, but there's no point in taking chances.
For trim, I'm planning on self fringe. Jen's redingote fringe turned out so awesome! I've been seeing fringe in a lot of fashion plates now. I like this one, with a double row at the hem and at the cuffs of the short sleeves.
I love the long sleeves with buttoned wrist strap, so I'll probably do that, and try adding fringe to the strap. And maybe to the long cuff over the hand, too. This will definitely be my entry for the HSF challenge on Trimming. ;)
I'm leaning toward these blousey ones with the doubled frill for my muslin sleeves. I'd probably do the frill in organza or organdy for lots of poof.
I may have some kind of chemisette or tucker as well. I have a chemisette I can use if I run out of time, or if something else becomes priority.
As for accessories: Green or black shoes, and red stockings! And a reticule. I am so bad about remembering a bag to carry with my costumes.
When I haven't been working on my UFO this week, I've been tracing and testing patterns. Last night I made the last bodice and sleeve muslin. I just need to test the pleated apron front now. I'm looking forward to putting this dress together.