Friday, May 24, 2013

Ahnalin as Jane Austen

We love Jane Austen.

When Ahnalin had to choose a 
"Famous dead person" 
for her 3rd grade "Live Wax Museum" history project,
she chose to do her report on our beloved novelist.

Well, I must be honest here......


Ahnalin loves beautiful dresses and 
playing dress-up with her dolls.

She told me that she was considering
doing her report on Walt Disney or Lucille Ball.

Walt Disney lost out because she didn't want 
to dress up like him for the wax museum.

Lucille Ball ran a close second,
because she would have had fun portraying her
and she adores "I Love Lucy".

But in the end,

(All right, it wasn't really a contest, but Go Jane!)

And that meant that mama needed to get busy
making a regency style gown.

And Ahnalin suggested
(well, more like agreed to....)
a smocked empire style. 

As research, (cough cough)
we watched most of my BBC versions
of Pride and Prejudice, 
Sense and Sensibility,
and Persuasian.
 I suggested Mansfield Park
and Northanger Abbey,
and had to watch them on my own time (again)
as she felt she had enough of a feel for the times.

We actually did real research on Ms. Austen,
but the movies were my favorite part.

Two of Ahnalin's favorite findings about
Jane were:

1. Jane's father was a minister just like
 Ahnalin's daddy has been.

2. Jane was proud of her stitching and
handiwork skills, just like Ahnalin.

The dress fabric was rather see-through,
and she wanted a new petticoat,
so I cut a quick yoke style bodice
and long skirt out of some cotton muslin from my stash.

She was practicing her posture with a book on her head
in this picture.
Goofy girl!

I found just enough cotton lace in my stash
to trim the neckline and armscyes. 

I added a long embroidered cotton batiste trim
to the hem of the petticoat.
I had planned on enclosing that seam in a
growth tuck, which is my oft used hem treatment.
However, Ahnalin wanted it to be left
as long as possible.
So we left it alone.
Her plan is to wear it as a nightgown
after the wax museum project was finished.

Ahnalin kept cracking up while Grandma Barbara was
taking pictures from one angle
and I was taking them from another angle.

Yes, there it is.
My favorite cheater hem style.
But I do love growth tucks.

And the long petticoat is peeking out.
And how cute are those pink ballet flats.

I truly love the fabric I used for this dress.

It is "Juliet-Coco" by Anna Griffin,
and can be purchased at the Martha Pullen Company. 

I drafted the pattern and designed
the smock plate based on various
gowns from my favorite
Jane Austen movies.

And, well,
you know I had to include smocking!

I am working on the pattern for this dress
and it will include the smocking design.

Ahnalin wanted you to see her hair.
She knew exactly how she wanted it to look.

The back of the bodice is simple and pretty.

I like the lace of the neckline of the
petticoat peeking out.

 I had not stitched the grosgrain ribbon
in place so it fell off when Ahnalin
was frozen in place at the school wax museum.
But it probably looks more authentic without it.

 She got tired of being frozen in her standing pose,
so she sat down and read her "prop".

Good thinking, my brilliant girl!

I am so proud of my little one
for working so hard on her Jane Austen project.
Her research paper was very well written
and she enjoyed the process.

And I am so glad she gave me a good
excuse to create a regency style gown for her.

Now she wants one for her American Girl doll.
I guess I had better get busy!

Happy Sewing!


Ruth said...

So beautiful and inspiring. love. love. love.

Amy said...

Wow you both are so creative! How fun for you to share this experience!

Saint Nolt Sews said...

Love the costume! It looks so realistic.

Bunny said...

It's beautiful!

Jeannie B. said...

She is beautiful in that dress. and it really does look Jane Austeny. Very nice.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Loved the post and that dress is stunning on your beautiful girlie!

Meredith said...

Beautiful dress and what a fun project for you to work on together!!

ShirleyC said...

Sivje, you did a fabulous job on this dress - as always!
Ahnalin looks just beautiful in her special dress.

Jenny Jo said...

Love your Jane Austen interpretation!!