1 May 2013

Making a Dress - A Simple Regency Day/Evening Dress

I have been pondering about making a regency dress for ages!

It is a perfect dress for the summer and since I am due to go to Austen and the Abbey event in July, I better get practicing.


There are loads of inspiration for this.  I just have to watch Pride and Prejudice and I am just overwhelmed with the desire.

However I do want to aim for something like Jane's dress here.

But not as low cut and with some embellishment on the edge but I am undecided.


For the fabric I decided to ask my good friend, Laura who has made regency dresses before and asked her what would be an appropriate cotton fabric to buy.  Of course muslin would be fantastic but that is just too loosely woven for me to use and it is see through which is not good for me and the british summer.

So she suggested cotton lawn and thus I brought 10 metres of cotton lawn.  Yes I brought 10 metres of it.

Do not worry, I am not planning on using all the fabric to make one dress.  Some of it is for another project which will be report next month.

Design Process

To save time and sanity I decided to buy a pattern and the one that I was recommended (again by Laura) was the Sense and Sensibility "Regency Gown Pattern".

I brought the e-pattern so I spent a good couple of hours piecing it all together but it was worth it and now all I have to do is trace the size I want.

With every new pattern, one must always make a toile to make sure the fit is at least okay.

Overall the fit was actually quite good but there are tiny things that will need to change.
  1. Gather more fabric at the top of the sleeve.
  2. Extend the bodice by 5cm so it sits under my bust.
  3. Generally gather the material more evenly.
So as you can see a regency gown is actually a simple garment to make.


So I have the fabric and the corrections have been made to the pattern.  Shall we begin?

 I am glad I have a huge floor to roll this fabric out!

 So far to good the bodice is done and the sleeves are lovely!

And we are done!  Here is the front and side.

And finally the back.  I do love the gathered back of this dress.  I will have to recreate that look on a different dress.  It just looks so elegant.

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