Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh, Mr Darcy.

I'm pretty sure that the modern-day popularity of Jane Austen can be traced to a single cinematic moment. I think you ladies all know what moment I'm talking about, and it involves Colin Firth and a wet shirt. How many of you ran out and bought the book after watching that scene? There have actually been many representations of Darcy in film and TV (this blogger's Darcyometer is particularly hilarious) but the Firth is the one everyone knows and loves.

Jane Austen was a marvelous writer and, while she published only six novels and died young, her works still resound with us today. Her witty dialogue, her sparkling prose, and her comedic take on the social mores of early-19th-century England are still worth reading in 21st-century America. And if you're into that sort of thing, there's also handsome brooding men in waistcoats and tight breeches. Le sigh.

(I want you to know that I had to watch several different video montages before choosing the best one to include on this blog. YOU'RE WELCOME.)

American Girl hasn't seen fit to create a true Regency girl (although of course the corresponding time period on our side of the pond would be the Federalist era) although they do make that lovely party dress & spencer for Josefina. However, when has this ever stopped doll collectors? We are a determined bunch.

My Modiste creation for the month of May was inspired by my love of all things Austen. I started with a 19th-century reproduction print from the Manchester line in shades of cream and charcoal (a striking and unusual color combination which flatters any doll) and adapted the Sensibility pattern to include such scrumptious details as a gathered front bodice and an eyelet laced back.
The pelisse coat was truly a labor of love - sewing teeny tiny black eyelash trim onto a charcoal gray background is not for the faint of heart. But the detail, I think, is well worth it in the end.
My Austen-tatious Regency Gown with Pelisse Coat and Bonnet is now live on eBay - click here to visit the site. The auction ends tomorrow night so don't miss out on your chance to own this one-of-a-kind ensemble!

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