Quite a few Henrietta Maria’s got made as I finalised my pattern, and many of them got left in the PHd pile, finished except for hems. (fess up, who else gets to that part and just can’t quite I make it happen…?) I’m slowly reducing the PHds, and adding the Henrietta Maria’s to my wardrobe.
At this point my Costume College packing is going to be entirely Henrietta Maria dresses and historical frocks!
Every time I finish a Henrietta Maria I love it more than the last one, and this one is definitely no exception!
This is the Scroop Henrietta Maria with an elastic waist (tutorial here), in a poly crepe chiffon (it’s a very high quality polyester, and, thanks to the weave, breaths well). I’m calling it my Woodwold dress, because the print reminds me of the description of the amazing wrought-iron gates of Woodwold in Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End. There are even tiny roses hidden in the print!
This is one of those prints where no matter how you arranged the fabric, it was going to be slightly awkward in combination with your anatomy. I decided that rather than worrying about this, I was going to make it a feature, so I specifically placed frames at my bust. Patterning which mirrors and highlights your anatomy has been a feature of high-fashion pieces for the last couple of years, and in any case I enjoy subverting the expected. Now that it’s finished, I quite like the effect, particularly paired with a V-neck slip.
You may be wondering why I didn’t include an elasticised waist as an option in the HM pattern from the start, and there is a good reason for that. In laying out patterns for printing and in creating instructions, sometimes what you include becomes a balance between your design ideas and ease of use for the buyer.
Sometimes I find myself in a position where I have to decide between lay out a pattern so it prints on two less sheets of A4/Letter paper, but one of the important, tricky pattern features sits directly on the point where four sheets meet, arranging it so no important features fall across page joins, and it’s easier for people to read and use the pattern, but it take two more pages.
With the Henrietta Maria, the logistics of the instructions meant I had the choice between including the elastic waist, or including instructions on bra strap guards – a technique that is useful for every view of the Henrietta Maria, not just the dress, and which is a much more interesting and unusual technique to find in pattern instructions.
For the photos, a friend (with a very nice camera!) and I headed to the botanical gardens, and took advantage of the beautiful fall foliage.
There were people walking dogs, and ducks and late-season ducklings in the pond. We even found a cat to cuddle and pose with:
For tutorials related to this dress, see: