White Regency Dress

This is my very first attempt at a Regency dress.  For my inspiration I looked at earlier Regency dresses from 1800-1810, influenced by the classical statuary of ancient Greece.

I used Simplicity 4055, view A, without the overskirt and with extra fabric in the back for fullness. I lengthened the bodice, thinking it would be too small, not realising that tiny bodices were, in fact, the fashion. Silly me. The pattern went together beautifully. Although I was put off by the photos on the pattern envelope, it turned out to be a good basic regency pattern, with clear instructions and relatively easy construction.

The fabric is a white cotton with a thin woven stripe, and the contrast ribbon is a green vintage velvet ribbon that I found at a garage sale. The buttons in the back are covered with the same ribbon. I used plain white cotton for the lining.

I made a matching reticule, using an extant French example as my inspiration for the shape. I had to do this twice, because the first one came out much too small! For my hair, I made a turbanesque headband. This was perfect for the first event I wore this to – an evening ball.

The next event was an afternoon garden party, so, to be proper for daytime, I needed a bonnet and chemisette. I found the plain straw bonnet on Etsy and the lace is white Chantilly. I draped the lace over the bonnet and tacked it a few times to keep it in place. It is gathered and secured under the chin with a popper. The chemisette was something of an experiment. It is essentially a square with a slit for the neckline, and ties under the arms to keep it in place. I used white point d’esprit and white lace that I happened to have already. It did work, but could use some refinement.

For my next regency dress I will make the bodice the proper length, and also wear the proper undergarments. I am working on a bodiced petticoat, which should help achieve the correct look.

simplicity 4055

Regency front
Evening ensemble front
Regency back
Evening ensemble back
Embroidered and sequined silk reticule, French c1799-1810. Cooper Hewitt.
Reticule inspiration, French c1799-1810. Cooper Hewitt
Regency Bags
Reticules – first and second iterations.
Regency Balboa Park 2016
Afternoon ensemble with chemisette and bonnet.
20160529_143418
In motion!
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