Friday, January 28, 2011

Green Regency Daydress; Progress!

It is hard to be sure when one will actually start a project, if you are like me. I tend to spend much more time researching, planning and imagining the finished product than I do actually cutting and fitting and sewing the pieces. However, inspiration struck yesterday so I cut out and started sewing the bodice of my new regency dress.

I was going to make a basic drawstring Elegant Lady's Closet dress but decided that I already have three of those and it would be too redundant to make another. It is a lovely pattern, but I wanted to try something new. Something different. Something that could still be adjustable for weight loss but look right.

I found an ideal style in Costume in Detail. I really love this design! It seems almost fan-frontish (which I have been really loving lately) and has a small crossover detail at the center front, which I also love. The back closes with a button at the neck and a drawstring at the waist. The gathers make it perfect for a hide-the-figure weight loss style and will be ideal with a drawstring waist.

I used my basic 1860's bodice as a starting point and made a mock up. I chopped off the dropped arms and made the armhole fit around the actual shoulder. I shortened the bodice to exactly the bottom of the bosom. I wanted to make this dress to wear with modern undies (a sportsbra) but it just looked really bad, so I ended up fitting the bodice over my 1790's transitional stays I made last year. I have not worn those stays since, probably, I made them but to my surprise they fit me even better than they did last year and gave just the right shape and "lift" to the bust. I am very happy with how it looks! I cut a diaganol line from the neckline at the shoulder to the center front bottom edge of the bodice to make the right neckline shape. I cut the lining from this. For the bodice fronts, I slashed and spread the lining pattern to give width to it. Then it was gathered down at the shoulders and at the "waist" to match the lining. Voila!

So far I have made the bodice and sleeves and am now meditating on the skirt. I want it pretty flat in front (to avoid looking pregnant) but so far I have not cut it out.

The bodice fits *almost* exactly around my underbust. It is a teensy bit big and the waistline drawstring will snug it up to a perfect fit. At least, that is the plan. :)

Maybe I will get out the straw hat brim I've been hoarding and make a bonnet to go with this.



  1. Hi Sarah, oh goodness, this is adorable. You know my blogger friend over at Bramblewood fashion makes/designs her own clothes too, including period clothing and Regency wear :) :) This is really cute!!! I can't wait to see what it'll look like when it's finished!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  2. Oh wow Sarah this is going to be fabulous! The cut is fantastic and I can't get over the fabric -- microprints are my favorite, and this green will look absolutely awesome on your skintone. I can't wait to see it finished!

  3. Oooh! I can't wait to see it. That is one of my favorite gowns :D

  4. ooooh...yes, please...a bonnet!

    I've always loved that dress in Costume in Detail. I'm glad someone I 'know' is finally making it.

  5. Thanks! I am pretty excited about it, even though I have nowhere to wear it, at least yet. :) I got the skirt sewn on this evening and it's looking pretty good but I think the sleeves need some work. . .I made them using the largest size for the ELC long sleeve and it's just too big and baggy. . .very reminiscent of the late 20's maybe, but not good for the teens. So, tomorrows agenda: remove sleeves, take in along seam lines, take off band, hem sleeve edge and make a seperate wristband that will button around each sleeve at wrist level.

    Then hemming, some finish work and it should be done!

  6. It looks good. Very good. I have a thing for fan-fronts, too.

  7. Oh my goodness, the fabric you chose is gorgeous! You have an amazing talent to just make something up. I can not wait to see the finished dress!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!