Monday, November 5, 2012

Finished October Regency Project ~ Grey Wool Spencer and Silk Petticoat

It was a beautiful autumn afternoon so yesterday David and I decided to play dress-up and head out to the "back pasture" to take some pictures and to pretend for a little while that we were a regency gentleman and his lady.

I finished my petticoat over the weekend. This skirt once belonged to my 1860's silk dress but after wearing it very often both with and without the matching silk bodice, the skirt became rather dirty from having three little boys sitting on my lap time after time. In a moment of madness I popped the skirt in the washer and it came out having lost almost all of it's crisp body. . .it went from a smooth, crisp, heavy-feeling silk to a rather light and limp silk.

It seemed ideal for this project and I was happy to have a use for the material. I barely eeked out enough length to be sufficient for the high waist of the era but by using a 1/4" seam to attach the skirt to the waistband and binding the edge of the hem instead of turning it, I think the length worked out all right. The waistband is of brown linen and the straps to hold it up are of the same linen. The hem is bound with a strip of indigo blue wool as a substitute for wool tape.

The entire outfit is fun to wear and the wool spencer is quite warm. My only regret is not having extra fabric in the sleevehead to pleat into the armscye. The way the sleeve on the wool suit jacket was cut I did not have  sufficient width to cut a large sleeve head.

I suppose I could have pieced some in but I didn't. The sleeves fit fine and are comfortable but I would have more range of motion with that extra width. . .so, just something to remember for next time!

David looked quite dashing in his linen tailcoat. He needs a woolen one now! He is considering taking up the impression of a doctor of the era, settling into the role quite naturally as he does a surgeons impression in our 1860's reenacting. It would be an easy transition for him.

We'll see. I have drastically reduced my involvement in 1860's reenactments out of sheer necessity for sanity and this era seems like it could be one both David and I would enjoy together.

In the meantime, we can have fun wandering through the tall grasses, listening to the whisper of the wind in the trees and watching the geese fly south for winter.
Susan's Husband

Soon the snows will come and inside we can be cozy with the spicy smells of Thanksgiving and Christmastime, the smoke from David's pipe and a cheerful fire in the fireplace. The boys listening wide-eyed to the tale of the Three Spirits who visited Mr. Scrooge and the baby watching the way the light falls on our faces, talking in her soft baby coos and waving her hands in the air. Good times are a-comin. It is now November.



  1. Pretty! I especially like the spencer, contrasting sewing thread and all. That is not all that uncommon in historic clothing, as linen thread don't take (and especially retain) natural dyes well, with few exceptions. Wool and silk thread could be mathed much better though.

  2. Wonderful post! Perhaps it's nice the silk turned out like that for this project? Limp and light is nice for Regency.

    David's clothes look so good. Perfect.

  3. It looks like a comfy ensamble.
    That photo with you both has an air of thomas gainsborough about it.

  4. You both look absolutely stunning!

  5. The way you put words together is so beautiful. You need to write books/poetry for the rest of us :)

  6. In case that happens with more silk and you want to fix it - someone (not me!) put one of the baby's Indian silk dresses in the washer, with the same result - large applications of spray starch and the iron later, it was back to normal (relief, as we needed it for a function). So you can renew its body, if desired.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!