Category: Regency dress pattern

Regency dress pattern

You've dreamed about dancing with Mr. The local historical society is hosting a winter tea The book club is delving into Jane Austen Whether you are new to the elegant period of the early s or a long-time reveler, this online sewing class will feed your need to connect to the past through the clothing.

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It is designed specifically for those who dream of the past and are ready to bring it to life! Yes - every detail from fabric selections to hem is covered!

Lessons include video tutorials and instructional photos along with an accompanying PDF handout with homework assignments to help move you along in your project. Complete an Authentic Regency Era Gown.

This is an Beginner to Intermediate sewing class. You should be familiar with your machine and have a little experience with sewing clothing - modern or historical. We will follow the class pattern closely, so even those new to the Regency Era will be able to keep up! The priority is for you to perfect your basic techniques while understanding period construction and how it looks more complicated than it actually is.

Together we'll explore fitting this simple dress design as well as the various sewing methods to make it come together easily.

Lesson 5: Finish with sewing the bodice, hem and final touches. You'll find a variety of Regency dress patterns available. For this class I wanted to use a well-drafted and generally historically-accurate pattern to make the project easy for you but also one we could have fun with!

Sizes in pattern - Bust Although, as with all our classes, you can choose to use another Regency dress pattern. But be aware that the specific steps of each lesson will cover the class-specific Laughing Moon pattern.

However, I've found the directions translate well to other published patterns. If you have sewing experience but are new to historical garments, you may find this class a nice challenge.The Regency Fashion Era is a wonderful time of simple silhouettes, drape-able fabricsand a freedom from tight dressing as compared to the Rococo period before and Victorian Era after.

With these delicate styles comes light closures — ones not to disturb the easy shaping. They are fairly simple. Basic really. And generally only 3 of them for the Regency Era, along with small variations in each.

regency dress pattern

Closures need to be balanced with the garment. Yes, how a garment is closed plays a huge role in keeping the structure and silhouette needed. Probably THE most common of Regency dress closures is the bodice back simply closing with ties at the neckline and waistband. Coming off the boned and pinned stomachers and bodices of the s came the chemise dress which closed with ties or straight pins in the center front.

This carried over into the s when fashion was changing to the columnar styles of the new era. This bodice type kept the very narrow back bodice cut styling. As the closure moved to the back the simple methods of fastening went with it. In my research, fastening a Regency bodice in the back with ties can be found on originals from the s up to the late Teens, and even beyond into the s, although this type of closure was waning by then.

This is for a gathered bodice look as well as an easy way to fit the dress to a figure. So if your sister or cousin borrowed the dress they could do so without alterations. Sometimes the ties run through a casing that starts at the shoulder seam leaving the front bodice neckline smooth and un-gathered. Most often they ran around the entire dress in a casing for fitting purposes; other times, like the neckline options, they were simply tacked to the center back edges to tie closed.

A third method was to run them through a casing that began at the side back seam which made the center back panel adjustable but left the rest of the dress waistline fitted. Now, as with all things in fashion, there are variations to the two-back-tie closure. In some originals like this c. I have only found dresses that close with ties that are placed at the neckline and waistband.

To our modern costumer sensibilities this may seem not enough of a closure to be secure. Plus, it makes dressing super fast.

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The second closure method found in the early s is the dress cut to open in front known as an apron or bib-front gown. This style of dress was a carryover from the late 18 th century gowns that closed with a fitted lining at center front then a stomacher earlier decades or jacket bodice pinned over it.

The dress is created with a short front lining attached to the sides of the dress in place of a full bodice front. The skirt is sliced at the sides with the back skirt panels attached to the back and sides of the bodice. The skirt front panel is sewn to the back skirt below the long slit and a bib-type, rectangular piece attached on top of the skirt front that will create the front bodice.

To wear, the arms go through the sleeves and the back of the dress pulled into place. The front lining pieces are closed see below.

regency dress pattern

These are tied around the body either over or under the back of the skirt. Finally, the front bib is secured over the lining. For the lining: A — The front lining pieces can be overlapped and pinned shut. B — They can have ties on the edges and tied closed — the edges touching or even having a space between them. C — They can have eyelets and the front edges laced closed.For example, modern Americans often call the midweight printed cotton fabric used in quilts calico named after the Indian city of Calicut while the British use that word to mean the unprinted, low-thread-count cotton fabric Americans call muslin named after the city of Mosul in what is now Iraq.

But in the Regency, calico could be printed or unprinted midweight cotton fabric, while muslin was a somewhat sheer, very soft, drapey cotton fabric, sometimes with a rather loose weave, and almost invariably white - closer to cambric, or a slightly softer, looser version of what is now sold as voile or fine batiste.

Think of a cross between a fine handkerchief and cheesecloth, if you can! Cotton Muslins. From a gown sold by Heritage Studio. Cotton was increasingly available in America and as an import from India, and the diaphanous, flowing white of fine muslin was perfect for imitating Greek statuary. To keep your muslin dress from looking just like everyone else's, you might choose a material with a pattern woven into it or embroidered on it. The muslin at left has a woven-in wavy pattern, the larger stripes consisting of three stripes very close together.

It is easy to see how loosely-woven this fabric is; you can see the shadow of the dark background behind the unpatterned areas. Except for the most daring Frenchwomen, petticoats were a must under such gowns.

The gown at left features an all-over small dot, another popular motif that could be either woven in or embroidered. I've seen windowpane-checked semi-sheers very similar to this in the fabric store. They're often in the drapery section, meant to be used as a curtains. Try to get one with a reasonable amount of cotton in it. Another Indian import was muslin or mull a gauzy muslin embroidered with silver or gold thread, as seen at left.

Now tarnished to a dark grey color, the silver would originally have sparkled in the light. Such fabrics can still be found from Indian importers; try to find light, flexible fabrics, as many sari fabrics are too crisp and stiff.

Regency Fitting Tips

Fine muslins were perfect for tambouring because the loose weave was easy to punch through without damaging. Although this early example is tamboured in yellow and thus is easier to see, most work of the era was white-on-white; subtle, but the translucency of the muslin contrasted with the opacity of the tambouring.

In addition to tambouring their dresses, fine ladies tamboured fichus neckclothsshawls not very warm, but prettyreticules, and more. Printed Cottons. Then as now, chintz was a tightly-woven, moderately lightweight cotton that was glazed to make it shiny, but it was rapidly falling out of favor as a dress material as the nineteenth century arrived.

Printed calico "callico" is primarily what I will discuss here. The patterned cottons of the eighteenth century imitated the realistic, open florals popular in silk brocades, and Indian exporters used Western pattern books to create painted cottons that imitated the brocade styles for export.

regency dress pattern

These trendy Indian painted cottons were in turn imitated by English mills producing block-printed cottons! As the nineteenth century approached and skirts and bodices became smaller and narrower, these patterns completely superceded the larger, more dramatic brocades from which they had originated. The fabric shown at left has flowers with a spiky look, combined with narrow, winding stems and a spare arrangement; this is typical of eighteenth-century designs.

The soft, rounded flowers you tend to see on today's flowered cottons are much more Victorian. This fabric, used in an open robe ofshows how similar the English printed cottons were to the Indian painted cottons they imitated. Printed cottons reached the height of fashion for daywear in the s. Their relatively crisp body, however, did not work as well with the classically-influenced gowns of the s as they had with earlier styles, and diaphanous muslins began to take preference.

By the first years of the nineteenth century, these loose, flowing prints were out of favor. Printed cottons lived on, however, as indispensible and useful materials from which to make gowns that didn't show dirt on their busy patterns and could survive work and washing.

And of course they hung on longer in outlying areas, where new fashions took longer to reach and dresses continued to be made from older fabrics because any fabric was valuable.The Regency era predates the Victorian Era. The styles changed dramatically between the two eras. In the predominantly Protestant and Catholic countries of Europe, ladies' clothing was neither corseted nor tightly-fitted from the waist up. They were not hoop-skirted, crinolined, heavily full-skirted, or bustled below either.

One of the most popular books from the Regency era is Pride and Prejudice, which provides an image of the fashions and attitudes of the period. Likewise, Gone with the Wind gives us a glimpse into the fashions of the antebellum South.

Making a Regency-Dress 3: The pattern

Regency gowns are characterized by a very high-waisted bodice, from which a lightweight fabric is gathered to fall to floor-length. The neckline of a Regency style dress was often cut square and very low, and small puffed sleeves often barely covered the shoulder.

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For modesty, women often wore a pretty chemisette similar to a dickey to fill in the exposed chest area for daywear. The style of Regency gowns was based on flowing Grecian robes. The soft muslin dresses of clung to the body highlighting the natural body outline, so stays were unpopular unless the figure demanded them.

regency dress pattern

These Empire-waisted Regency dresses at the turn of the century were often little more than sheer nightgowns. The practical solution to the discomfort of lighter clothing was to simply adopt the warm undergarment called pantaloons and already worn by men. To keep the effect of having nothing on under the Regency dress, these pantaloons were made of flesh-toned fabric. The fabric for Empire line Regency dresses was usually fine white lawn, muslin, or batiste.

Although muslins were less costly than silks, good white work embroidered lawn fabrics still cost money. Muslin also laundered better than silks, but the white muslins still needed a great deal of attention to keep them looking pristine clean.

Regular wearing of white gowns was a sign of social status, as white soiled easily. White Regency gowns generally were kept for evening, and in the day, pastel or colored robes were thought more suitable. In winter, heavier velvets, cottons, linens, fine wools, and silks were used and sometimes extra warmth came from flannel petticoats or full under slip dresses. We hope you enjoy the Regency gowns we have gathered for you in this section. They are a romantic must-have for a lovely summer afternoon!Return to Library Index.

This page is a guide to introduce the evening dress styles of the early 19 th Century to aid in the design and construction of a period ensemble. Included are descriptions of the components of an evening outfit, including undergarments and accessories. Hairstyles, jewelry and headdresses are discussed as well.

Regency Gown Pattern

There is also some sewing advice and a list of patterns that might be useful, as well as some books and websites with useful information, and finally, places to shop in the Boston, MA area. The styles of the early 19 th Century are known by several different names, depending on what country you are describing:. WAISTLINE: The prevalent silhouette is most notable for its very high waistline, which only changed slightly throughout the period, ranged from a couple of inches below the bust, to just below the bust, or even, especially if one was large busted, slightly on the bust itself the exact placement of the waistline depended on the prevailing fashion of the season.

SKIRT: The skirt is generally flat or slightly gathered in the front, slightly flared, with rectangular gathered panels at the center back The hem length varied throughout the period and there were no trains on dancing dresses. Some Neckline Variations Throughout the Period square neck, not low cut, angles inward as it approaches the shoulder. Back is fairly narrow. An 9 Wide scoop neck. Chemise showing or part of the dress.

Contrary to popular belief, corsets and petticoats did not disappear during this period. Contrary to popular belief, corsets were worn in this period. To achieve the proper high-waisted silhouette, the corset is invaluable. This period was one which was transitioning from the fully boned 18th Century stay that transformed the figure into a very smooth artificial shape and flattened the bust, to one which followed the natural curves of the body and supported them more gently. The bust can be shaped by gussets or gathered bust cups it usually had shoulder straps.

The bust was supported rather than squished together cleavage was not desirable. Litle boning is used, if any at all, cording was used to provide a bit of stiffening. Lengths varied year to year as fashions changed; those who need more support could choose a longer corset, which flattens the stomach and hips.

Those with very slim figures can choose a shorter style which mainly supports the bust. Very short stays came into fashion around Fabrics are firmly woven cotton or linen, medium weight. Hair was usually wavy or curled a bun or fancy braid at the back of the head usually small ringlets at the forehead HEAD-DRESSES : The hairstyle could be completed with many different types of headdresses Simple bandeaus, tiaras, and diadems single or multiple circlets in gold, pearls, ribbons or jeweled bands circlets made of twisted cloth in colors to coordinate with the gown Circlets of flowers jewelled tiaras Turbans are also popular, and are especially useful to disguise short hair.Do you feel that Regency clothing looks terrible on you?

Afraid to make something from the Regency era because you have a large rib cage or are well endowed on top? With just a few pointers you can feel confident when wearing these ethereal fashions.

It really can happen! Get your Handbook today! Rarely does a pattern fit straight out of the envelope. Anyone who sews knows you have to fiddle with it so it lays correctly over the individual figure.

But sometimes it can get confusing. That was how it was for me years ago when I first started sewing Jane Austen fashions. Until I learned a few tips to make it easy. We all want to look fabulous and be proud of our costuming. Well, when you know your garment is well-fit your confidence will soar.

Like how someone with large arms can look decent in puff sleeves. It IS possible! How about disguising a wide rib cage? Let me teach you the tweaks to avoid this undesirable look.

What some happy customers are saying:. You deserve to be confident and present a proper historical silhouette… and feel great in your costume! You want your historical garments to look like clothing they wore years ago. The secret is in the fit of the fabric to the body! And playing dress up is the best when we enjoy doing it! Purchase Handbook here! If you are not completely satisfied and find no use for the product send us a quick email.

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For book returns, please follow the instructions on your packing list. For digital items we will refund your purchase price, no questions asked, within 48 hours.Please note: I do not sell patterns. These are reviews only. Please Google a pattern name to find a vendor for that pattern. Use all modern drafting and sewing techniques. Improved Impression Medium skills; give a nicely period "look. Period Dressmaking Medium to advanced skills; can produce accurate garments.

Regency (1790-1820)

Use period-appropriate shapes and sewing techniques. This is the extremely popular pattern that has spawned a thousand gowns. There is also the licensed Simplicity version, which can be picked up very cheaply on sale in fabric stores. Details: When this came out, it was advertised as a "made-for-comfortable-wear" mid-Regency gown pattern.

I still think that's a pretty good assessment. Although various details have been added over the years to increase the pattern's flexibility and usefulness, the basic pattern shapes are Regency in feel but not completely accurate. The way the fullness of the bodice is placed in the front, the shallowness of the back armscye, the length of the bodice back, and other details are not quite period. However, for a simple and attractive gown that fits a wide range of body types, you can't go wrong here.

Examples: Plenty of finished examples at the Sensibility site. Simplicity, They are very costumey, but could be just the thing for a stage production or Halloween costume. You can get all the details of the minor differences between Simplicity's pattern and the original here. Simplicity Sort of trying to be a s chemise dress, but the skirt is far too narrow - it should be at least double the current width.

However, if you're doing a s production, it could work. Simplicity Very similar to the Period Impressions Day Dress pattern see below - this style is very flattering to small and medium busts. There's something weird going on with the puff sleeves in View A, but they look fine in the inset. The skirt gathering starts too far forward - it should be pushed more to the back. Not the best spencer - it feels more like a s evening jacket.

Butterick: Making History, All the Butterick Regency patterns are very costumey, with totally modern fastenings and facings. Also, the skirts are invariably cut with too much shaping at the waist in a modern column style.

Still, if you're looking for stage-production or Halloween-costume patterns, some of these have a unique look. Note: May be discontinued, but show up on eBay and other web sources all the time. Butterick Very costumey "Josephine" dress. Attractive on small-busted women; does not fit anyone else. Giant sleeve puffs are too big for the period. See variations on it here scroll down near end of page.

Butterick A pastiche of Regency styles, but a different take than most patterns. The spencer would be okay if you skipped the maribou and made it a day garment. The V-necked bodice is reminiscent of crossover-front gowns of The elaborate trim on View B echoes the early s, if you use a heavier fabric duchesse satin, taffeta and smaller flowers. Butterick Very similar tobut with a more appropriate overgown. See one costumer's take on the dress here.


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