Recreating Lizzie Bennet’s Brown Frolicking Frock

Recreating Lizzie Bennet’s Brown Frolicking Frock

“First, I must tell you how ardently I love this dress. From the moment I saw it, I never wished to be parted with it from that day on.”

If you’re as big a fan as I am of the 2005, Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen, you’ll recognize the above quote, though it is slightly altered. 🙂 There are a few films that I can play all the way through in my head, scene by scene and this is one of them. The other two are The Wiggles Magical Adventure, and The Apple Dumpling Gang. Take that information as you will.

Here’s my recreation of the opening title.

Fun Fact: the book Lizzie is reading as she walks in the opening scene is actually text from the last page of “First Impressions,” the original title Jane Austen put down for today’s Pride and Prejudice. The book I’m holding is a 1903 edition of Pride and Prejudice. I recently discovered that walking and reading at the same time is a skill yet to be acquired.

Keira Knightley, Pride and Prejudice, 2005.

Out of all the beautiful gowns in the film, this one is my favorite, and I instantly knew I had to make it for myself. After a LONG time researching and looking for the right materials (I went to so many fabric stores to find this exact fabric, and finally found it at a random Joann’s) I started to self-draft the pattern. As with any of my recreated film costumes, I always watch the movie it appears in as I sew. It’s a cool experience! Until the movie is over and there’s only half a bodice completed because Mr. Bingley is having a ball, Lydia has run away, and Charlotte Lucas is engaged to be married!

I looked at a LOT of still shots of Keira wearing this gown, and attempted to replicate (almost) every pleat, seam, and detail visible. The most important thing for me was getting the silhouette right. Long live trial and error. I also had the white blouse to figure out. I was about to start drafting a pattern when I realized that I already had a white blouse exactly like this. It even had the overlapping shoulder seams like the original. All I had to do was make a wider collar and hand sew it on, which I must admit, is already coming loose. That’s something I’ll have to fix.

A little disclaimer: this dress is not historically accurate to the era in which Pride and Prejudice occurs. It was designed by Jacqueline Durran, (who also designed the dreadfully inaccurate costumes for Little Women, 2019 which I despise and ranted about in this post. . . but let’s overlook that). As long as it is duly stated that this gown is not accurate to the regency times, we may continue. I may be a bit of a hypocrite, but I do believe Durran’s work in Pride and Prejudice proves much more historically accurate than in Little Women. Speaking as someone who has studied Victorian fashion, and not Regency.

This was absolutely the most fun day, running around in fields with my sister until sunset, playing the soundtrack to the film along the way, and saying almost every quote we could remember. I felt like I was in the movie. Although dressing like a fictional character from another century can definitely deliver you some odd looks, finger points, and quiet conversations as people walk away, it wasn’t as bad as I had predicted. Even in the mall afterwards, I didn’t seem to notice too many people questioning my attire, (yes, I went into a busy mall in this dress to pick up my other sister, and yes it was pretty fun).

A quick review of the opening scene.

I’m definitely not the first to recreate this design, nor the last. There are multiple YouTuber’s videos/tutorials out there that show the whole process of creating this gown, if you’re interested in making one of your own. Here are some of my tips for recreating this gown:

  1. Make sure your fabric is correct (I used a thin linen.) I’d also recommend buying it in person and not online. Photos and descriptions can be deceiving.

2. Make it a wrap dress. I’m not sure if this is specific to the original, but I think it’s a lot easier not only to make, but to put on and actually use as a functioning dress. I added ties to both the inside and outside flaps. The buttons aren’t really doing much.

3. Wear proper undergarments. I wore a cotton chemise, regency half-stays, and a white petticoat under the dress, but by all means you don’t HAVE to. (After all it’s not even a historically accurate dress). Putting on any ankle length skirt underneath should be good enough to fill out the dress properly and help with the flow of the fabric. But you definitely need something to help with the fullness of the skirt.

4. If you don’t feel comfortable drafting the pattern yourself or just hand draping it as you go, find some paper patterns that are similar to this design. Maybe you can find a separate one for the skirt, one for the bodice, and one for the blouse. Having a dress form really helped with draping; it’s nearly impossible to make a fitted garment without one.

…………………………………………………..

Which did you experience first: the book or the movie (or the 90s series in which I do not find favor)?

Who’s your favorite P & P character?

When was the last time you ran around in a field? If it wasn’t yesterday, my sincere condolences.

The Spring Brings Art Shows and Allergies

The Spring Brings Art Shows and Allergies

Every spring my family and I attend an annual art show, held at an historic site. It’s been tradition, for almost as long as I can remember. As kids, we would always be given a scavenger hunt paper at the front door: find a painting with five dogs in it, how many red barns can you spot, can you find a sculpture made out of marble? We’d work together, give each other hints until we found everything. I know there was a prize at the end, but I don’t remember what it was. We’ve all grown taller now, so we don’t get scavenger hunt papers anymore, unfortunately. I did glance to see if they still had them, and I didn’t see any. Perhaps the children of today are not as lucky as we were in our youth, without any artistic scavenger hunts.

It was a cloudy and humid day with puddles reminding us of the morning rain. There’s something about this kind of weather that makes my allergies worse than usual, and from the time I woke up, I knew it was going to be a sneezy day. Then put me in an old (and somewhat musty) building and I WILL NOT stop sneezing. Since it’s hereditary, my family knows better than to say “bless you” after every sneeze. They say, “bless you for the rest of the day” and that’s that. However, the strangers throughout the building just trying to look at art peacefully couldn’t have known this and gave their blessings anyway.

The first floor of the building is where the larger (and most sizably priced) art pieces are displayed, many by well-known artists from the area. Room after room full of art, some old and some new. I wish I had remembered to choose my favorite among them, but I was too busy sneezing, I think. These photos are from upstairs, where the smaller pieces are kept. Some of them are so pretty, I’d like to fill an entire bedroom wall with tiny little frames, instead of wallpaper. And I would paint them myself in order to make that happen, however, I have no talent for painting. Truely, it’s something I am absolutely no good at. (Insert a horrified Lady Catherine de Bourgh scoffing at the fact that I do not draw).

There are so many paintings each year, they resort to hang them over the windows, so there this odd sense of dimension to the art. There’s a canvas with its colorful display, then the frame, then behind it a sheet of glass encased in its own frame (aka the window), and then another display beyond that, one of nature.

These old ruins have intrigued me since forever and seeing them from afar makes them look all the more mysterious. It reminds me of Jane Eyre. P.S. who else thinks that Mr. Rochester is totally creepy and not romantic at all? Anybody?

Being out in the fresh air again seemed to lessen my sneezing, long enough to get some photos outside. And a big thanks to the lady who offered to take a few pictures of my sister and me, even though I had my eyes closed in all of them, as I usually do.

Despite the allergies, it was a wonderful day spent with people I love, and filled with childhood flashbacks. There’s really nothing like the feeling of reliving a day from your past. It was so familiar, yet still new. And nothing makes you feel more like a kid again than running around some old ruins.

And here is a completely unrelated photo of Raisin and Charlotte the sheep, being absolutely adorable.

…………………………..

dress: Little Women Atelier

shoes: thrifted

……………………………

How do you deal with Spring allergies?

What kind of art is your favorite?

Have you read Jane Eyre? If yes, seriously why did he think it was a good idea to dress up like a gypsy? Why?!

My Secret Yet Not So Secret Garden

My Secret Yet Not So Secret Garden

Yes, my “secret garden” is just my weedy backyard. Yes, I can usually hear approximately seventy-five lawnmowers and three chainsaws going at once. And yes, I was swatting at bugs sixty percent of the time. But it is all tolerable . It’s still my secret yet not so secret garden, and I’m grateful for any “bit of earth” I can call my own. With all the national parks closed, I’ve felt disconnected from nature this spring. I’m so eager to run through an empty field, climb a rocky mountain, walk into some dark woods, or picnic beneath a big oak. But for now, my yard will do. And finally, on the last day of April, the April weather has arrived!

When I was switching my winter clothes to summer clothes, I came across this denim jumpsuit. I’m positive that I’ve never seen it before and have no idea how it found its way into my storage containers over the winter. It fits and I like it, so maybe I should just be happy to find it. Still, I consider it slightly strange.

And lastly, I’d like to raise a teacup of roses to Frances Hodgson Burnett for introducing me to my longtime friend, Mary Lennox. We get along pretty well now, even though she was a little unusual at first. But then, so was I… We both have a need for outdoor spaces of beauty and an obsession with old keys. Friends we are and friends we’ll stay, quietly in our own secret gardens.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

………………

jumpsuit // no idea

flower crown // icing

sneakers // stolen from my sister

bag // target

hat // thrifted

……………..

Have you been able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors lately? We need all the sun we can get at present.

Which Frances Hodgson Burnett book is your favorite?

……………..

Megan Joy

Sunday Bests // A Little Shabby Chic

Sunday Bests // A Little Shabby Chic

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 10

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 6

Today, I ventured into “shabby chic” fashion. I’m not personally a big fan of the modern shabby chic styles, but with a more vintage twist, I don’t think I mind it. There’s something about a floppy hat and a baggy skirt that just has a homey feel about it, creating a comfortable yet stylish outfit for exploring the countryside.

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 4

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 9

Last week, I made this necklace from a quartz rock and some copper wire. I think it turned out pretty well for my second try (I don’t think you even want to see my first try). I asked my brother if he could make the stone into a heart shape. He whacked it with a hammer and it sort of ended up like a heart, maybe?

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 3

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 1

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 11

I think autumn is the most photogenic season of them all. Just about anywhere you point your camera, you’re bound to capture the grand beauty of God’s nature through the lens.

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 2

I’m loving this pair of sunglasses. The roundness is nicely balanced by the gold leaf design on the rims. When I wear them, it turns my world into a wild range of magical autumn hues, The photo below shows the difference. On the left half of the picture, is the view from the glasses and on the right what it looks like to the plain eye. It’s quite dramatic! Talk about rose tinted glasses.

Sunday Bests - A Little Shabby Chic - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 12

…………………………………….

sweater // target

skirt // thrifted

hat // kohl’s

shoes // target (my sister’s)

necklace // made by me

sunglasses // rue 21

belt // thrifted

……………………………………………

Megan Joy

Diana of Avonlea // Victorian Outfit

Diana of Avonlea -  Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 1.JPG
Diana of Avonlea - Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 2
Diana of Avonlea - Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 3
Diana of Avonlea -  Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 4.JPG

If you remember, in “Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel” Diana Berry wears something like this; a white blouse and a creamy off-white skirt. The outfit is plain and simple, yet glorious in all its splendor! I wanted to recreate the outfit, so I gathered some of my Victorian things to piece together.

Anne of Green Gables httpanneofgreengables.com (3)

Source

Diana wears another off-white dress in the cow scene!

Source

Diana of Avonlea -  Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 6.JPG

I however, chose not to venture out into a muddy field for a photoshoot, so this will have to do!

Diana of Avonlea -  Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 8.JPG

Anne also wears something like this in a scene with Gilbert.

Anne of Green Gables httpanneofgreengables.com (5)

Source

Diana of Avonlea -  Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 5.JPG
Diana of Avonlea -  Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 7.JPG
Diana of Avonlea -  Victorian Outfit - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 9.JPG

………………………………………………….

skirt // sewn by me

blouse // thrifted

shoes // thrifted

belt // sewn by me

underskirt // sewn by me

hat // thrifted

necklace // chicwish

parasol // civil war sutler

collar pin // thrifted

…………………………………………

Megan Joy