My seamstress friend LivingwithJane has taken to sewing like a fish to water. I've joined the period sewing group that she is a part of, even though I have no intentions of ever making a dress, and it's been quite fascinating to observe the learning process as she and ZipZip, the head of the group, figure out how to make a round gown (see this picture for an example).
The round gown is for me, for the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville this summer. I've gone in for two fittings thus far and when I say I've observed the learning process, I mean I've literally, intimately, watched the process. I've stood in my chemise and short stays with my arms extended while ZipZip chewed her lips and fiddled with the dress form and discussed the shape of the armholes with LivingwithJane. It was a dance of sorts, as I raised and lowered my arms as needed while they moved about with me with needle and marker.