A long, long time ago, when the world was new, I promised my daughter I would make her a regency era outfit to be worn for tea at the Davenport House, a local museum preserved in 1820's style. They host teas in March and May each year and my goal was to have us go in proper attire from the skin out.
Well it's May now and I've gotten as far as a mob cap, two muslins for stays, and a bodice for a little dress pinky has since outgrown. Yay for procrastination!
Now I could wait another year for the Davenport House opportunity to come around once again but it just so happens that my daughter has been pestering me to buy her another American Girl doll. And it just so happens that doll is the lovely 1812 historical doll, Caroline Abbot. It also so happens that pinky's birthday is rolling around much sooner than the next Davenport tea cycle and that the American Girl store in Atlanta hosts an afternoon tea of their very own.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
Clearly we need to go in full regency regalia, don't you think?
So let's revisit the Davenport idea, shall we? Originally, the idea was to create a look that fit the 1820 aesthetic. However, Caroline story is centered around the War of 1812. During war, supplies would be a bit harder to come by as would be the latest fashions. I would say reasonably, we should adjust our time frame back to 1810, if not a touch earlier. However, I'm not sure I want to go strictly historically accurate for this. I'm quite in love with the look of 1823 specifically and I don't want to change. My justification is that since we aren't visiting a location defined by a time frame, I'm just going to pull a Cartman here and keep things pretty much the same.
For a refresher, here's the painting that inspired pinky's dress. It's the pale yellow one one the left with the purple sash and bonnet.
I recently located the perfect yellow tone on tone fabric at Fabric.com. It's a lovely dotted swiss in a light goldenrod woven with tone on tone stripes and just a wee bit of metallic thread. The rest of the fabric will come from my stash. Lovely soft cotton organza for the fichu and cap, pima cotton for the chemise and petticoat, along with a silk batiste sash, a straw bonnet, and miles of ribbon, lace trim, and other fripperies.
It's a surprise so don't tell her!
And wish me luck! Not because this is difficult. I'm rather confident it can all be managed. But you know I have a procrastination problem.