Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Bluebird Regency Gown for Anne

I recently finished a project for a friend and had some of this fabulous printed bluebird organic cotton left over. It was so cute I just had to use it to make a dress for the baby but it was hard deciding what style to make, since the print is really pretty modern. I kept shuffling through my small collection of modern patterns but nothing really jumped out at me.

In the end I decided to combine historical and modern, so I used the Sense and Sensibility Girls Regency Gown Pattern to create this little dress for Anne.

I completely love how it came out. It is a bit strange to see the familiar regency lines in such a modern print but I think that makes it fun! It appeals to both my historic-loving friends as well as those who have more modern fashion sense so it combines the best of both worlds.

And, as always, the Sense and Sensibility pattern was totally wonderful to work with and resulted in a fabulous garment with no frustrating setbacks or fitting difficulties. Sometimes, yeah, working with a pattern is easier than trying to make one on your own.
Our Very Own Stands-With-A-Fist. She's SO close to walking. . .

This was size 2. I used size 1 to make Anne's hobbit dress last winter. While that dress still fits her comfortably I wanted this dress to fit as long as possible so I made it a bit large on purpose.

I deviated from the pattern a bit. The instructions call for gathering or pleating the skirt evenly all around the waist. I decided to pleat the skirt as I do my own regency dresses - with 2 pleats at each side front, and then heavily pleated in the back waist. I like the lines this gives to the dress - a bit A-line, but without having to cut the skirt in an A-line shape. The skirt is 2 rectangles of fabric, pleated to fit, and the hem is about 64". I also added 2 tucks to the hemline, just because the skirt came out too long. She's fully 21" from shoulder to ankle so that doesn't give me a lot of space for skirt length! But the tucks really help the skirt pouf out so I'm glad I added them.

The other modification was the sleeves. I didn't have *quite* enough fabric to cut the full puff sleeve from the pattern so instead of cutting the curved bottom line on the sleeve, I made it cut straight across. This still gives a great puff, though!

I had to cut the front bodice in 2 pieces due to fabric limitations, so I added a band of coordinating green cotton (also left over from my friends' project) down the front of the bodice to hide the seam. I sewed a band for a faux "waistband" at the bottom of the bodice out of the same coordinating print. I love how it came out. It definitely accentuates the empire waistline. Sometimes that style feature gets lost when a dress is simply made with no trim and relatively un-fitted.

The best part about making this dress was having my little girl with me while I sewed it up. It went together in an afternoon and she loved playing with the scraps and pointing to the bright blue birdies on the fabric. When the dress was finally done I held it up so she could see it and she folded it into her arms and screamed with glee. It was a bit heart melting. ;) She knew it was for her.

So Anne's first regency gown! I hope this is just the first in a long line of regency gowns we will make together over the coming years. Couldn't resist sharing this last one of Anne and her daddy today, talking together after lunch. Love them!



  1. Dresses like this are why I was happy to hear you had a baby girl - to see what fun sewing projects you'd come up with for her! Such a cute fabric, too.

  2. Your Anne is a genius! I can't believe at so young she knew the dress was for her and got so excited! And she is soooooo incredibly awesomely cute.
    I can't wait to make matching regency dresses for my little girl and I....your blog is such an inspiration to me to actually do these things!

  3. The dress is beautiful, perfect styling for the print. And Anne makes it even more beautiful, such a lovely child she is. Wonderful photo of her with her Daddy!

  4. Beautiful dress on an even more beautiful child! You did a lovely job making the historical pattern something your child can wear every day.

  5. That is such a wonderful dress! I so need to make a regency dress for Rowan :-)

  6. I absolutely adore that fabric as a little girl's Regency dress! The green fabric accentuates it perfectly. She looks so precious! I'm glad to see how that Sensibility pattern turned out. I may just have to purchase the pattern for my little 3 year old! Good work!

  7. What a sweet dress, and that last photo of Anne and David is heart-melting :) I love that she knew the dress was for her, too!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!