“Janet” A Regency Daydress – Construction

In may I heard that “Romantic Recollection” Started a Regency challenge where you were to make something from the Regency period and then embellish it with some kind of embroidery during the course of may-June.

And as I’m always up for challenges and reasons to try new things I decided to join.

After some thoughts I decided to push myself to make a dess i’ve been thinking about for quite some time but never goten round to make.

The 1800s Apron/dropfront daydress from the Snowhill Manor Collection and Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion” (thats also where this dress got its name).  love the detailed drawings of it’s construction and the enlarged detail of the fabric pattern made me think of something I my stash. Remember this fabric?I’ts what I used for my 1825s Biedemier ball gown

You might aslo recall my disappointment when discovering the back of the bedsheet was white instead of purple.Something that turned out just perfect for this dress 😀

After carefully cutting the les then 2 m of fabric, I started by stitching the pin-tucks on the front flap. 

Then I assembled the bodice and stitched it to the skirt. With the front down.

Then I stitched together the sleeves and added them to the dress.  lastly I made and attached strips of fabric for tying and a small pad for the back to hold out the skirt

The finished dress:   

Just the facts:

Challenge: Romantic Recollections “Regency summer challenge”

What: a 1798 – 1800s Regency dress

Pattern: I used a mixture of “Simplicity …” and my own draft based on Arnolds pattern diagram för the Snowhill Manor daydress.

Fabric & notions: 1/5 a beedsheet, 0.5 m white cotton and thread.

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The print’s not period but the fabric and the look of it is good, and even though it made mostly by machine all the finishing are made by hand. So maybe 8/10.

Time & cost: About 10 hours and 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final thoughts: I really like this dress  and it makes me quite happy. The only thing I would change is to fix the front slits which now stands away a little from the body.

Changes to a Regency Gown

About a year ago I took on a comision from one of the ladiees in my dance companys historical dancing group. They were having a regency bal, and she wanted something nice to wear.

She bought a pattern and we visited a couple of fabric stores to find the perfect fabric.

51cX1YofXlLThe pattern was “Reconstructing History nr 838” and called for some lightweight cotton or silk fabric.

We decided to go in a different direction – mostly beacause my client wanted something darker and more sutable for her age. We setteled on a nice striped cotton for the bodice and a navy blue cotton velvet to usa for the skirt.

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I took her measurments and strated on a mock-up. The pattern caused some problems having non-matching seams, and really strange proportions. After some fideling with the pattern I manadged to produce a well fitted gown. And she was really happy with it.

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Half a year later we attended the same Regency event and I noticed the gown looked a bit large on her. IMG_2244

So we decided to take it in, and to shorten it a bit. It took a couple of months for us to get together and take the new measurments. Then it took a few more months until I had the time to start working on it.

I ripped the hem out, cut the lenght, then I pressed and sewed the new hem. IMG_4717

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Then I started working on the bodice. This was the part I feared the most. It needed to be taken in about 6 cm at the top and 10 at the underbust. A quite large amount considering there where no good places/seams to do it.IMG_6047The pins makt the widht to sew in.

I closed my eyes and started to rip the linning out, and then taking the neccesary widht in at the waist and underarm seam. I also took a couple of cm out in the front, shortening the velvet ribbon and gathering the front bodice some more. Then I re-attaced the linning and the waistband.



Then, when she came to try it on, before taking it home, the dress was to smal…

So I opened the linning once more and let it out again. And now it will finaly fit her again.


(I’m so taking a break from comissions right now).