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Topic: Regency/Empire gown project  (Read 4625 times)
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Ludi
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« on: July 03, 2011 04:05:48 PM »

For a long time I've been interested in the Regency costume period.  I used to think I couldn't have a Regency gown because they all had puffy sleeves but recently I've found several references to non-puffy sleeves, where the fullness is at the back of the shoulder.  I have very broad shoulders so I need to watch out for adding fullness there.  I found this pattern I like:  http://sensibility.com/patterns/the-elegant-ladys-closet/  and I'm tempted to "cheat" and buy it instead of drafting my own.  Of course before I make a Regency gown I need to make a set of underthings - chemise, short stays, and petticoat.  Again tempted to cheat and buy the Sense and Sensibility patterns.  Has anyone here used Sense and Sensibility patterns and do you think they are a good value?  Other costumers - what would you do - draft your own patterns, or "cheat"?   Huh
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011 03:24:27 PM by Ludi » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011 08:35:23 AM »

Ok, I have decided to draft my own dress pattern, since the gowns are so perfectly fitted to the body one has to modify a bought pattern a great deal anyway.  So I am gathering free patterns from the internets to enlarge and develop into a toile (muslin mockup).

Here are a couple I've found - seems like there should be more since this is such a popular period for recreations:  

http://www.janeausten.co.uk/magazine/page.ihtml?pid=713&step=4

http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/pattern.gif


Sense and Sensibility Patterns http://sensibility.com/category/patterns/regency-era/  has a lot of excellent information and tips.  
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011 05:59:07 PM by Ludi » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011 03:50:17 PM »

Slight progress - I've patterned my short stays and started sewing a set (or "pair," whatever they are called), based somewhat on these transitional stays:  http://kirvin.blogg.se/images/2009/1795-1810ca_lightly-boned-transitional-stay-made-in-amer-cotton-baleen-boning-center-front-lacing-kentsm_57086995.jpg

Here is the basis of the fronts onto which I'm sewing channels for boning.  Boning will be zip-ties.



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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011 04:13:27 PM »

Ambitious.

I love how some of these dresses appear as though they are falling off in the back, kwim? They are fitted so precisely but it looks like the shoulders are falling down, it's an interesting look.
That bodice you linked to has me laughing a bit at the super boned tight laced body piece with the loose gathered breast cups, lol! What a contradition! Much more comfortable than the other sort that is tight all around.
Love to see everything as you go along. Whatever will you do with it all, do you have fun occasions or events to wear this sort of thing to? I imagine that would be such a lot of fun.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011 04:40:35 PM »

I wish there were a Jane Austen group or Regency society or something near me, but I haven't found one yet.  Otherwise I guess I'm hoping to play around with the style and possibly arrive at something I can wear "to town."  Lots of historical costuming ladies apparently wear their Regency dresses as every day clothes because they are so comfortable.  Certainly compared to Victorian they must be.  Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011 05:44:45 PM »

ooh! smart to use zip ties!
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Ludi
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011 03:51:40 PM »

Stays progress- bones and cups sewn into the basis:

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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011 04:00:19 PM »

I want to see it ON! Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011 04:07:50 PM »

When it's finished!   Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011 10:15:01 AM »

Wow.  Stays are looking good!! I've been putting off making a Regency outfit for ages, due to being very confused by stays patterns!!  If I remember correctly some of the regency kit I have seen had a linen under shift and then a silk slip dress over the corset instead of a petticoat, which made the top half of the dress slightly less see through as well as the skirt bit Smiley  Looking forward to seeing your finished outfit.
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011 10:57:49 AM »

Thanks!  Yes, I need to make a chemise to go under my stays.  My test version will probably be muslin or sheeting but the "real one" will be handkerchief linen.  Then either a bodiced petticoat or a chemisette to go over the stays.  Then I can make my gown!  Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011 12:04:24 PM »

LOL, when the "underwear" of an outfit takes so long to make, the garment itself can seem a bit intimidating. Eventually...
Looking forward to the end result!
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011 04:59:07 PM »

I'm having a tough time deciding on what exact style gown to make (what year) though I'm leaning heavily toward the Pre-Regency or Empire/Directoire period, when sleeves where less puffy and dresses were more drapey.  Maybe about year 1805, for which I have a pattern in a book.   Huh 

Currently sewing tiny binding on my stays, then I have to put in eyelets....
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011 11:07:59 AM »

I think I'd go down that time period too.  Not a massive fan of the puffy sleeves.  I am tempted to just have straight long sleeves for mine (when I eventually start on it), and try and avoid the puffyness all together.  There are some quite nice examples on the V&A website where the sleeves are a lot flatter if you were looking for more inspiration Smiley  We have the regency parade in Bath next month, so looking forward to seeing all the lovely outfits!  I just discovered that I do infact own a Sense & Sensibility pattern for a regency gown.  Although I haven't used it, it does seem to come with lots of information and instructions on how to put the pattern together Smiley

Eurgh.  Do not envy the eyelet hole sewing.  I had to sew 36 on my last costume.  Bad times!
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011 05:39:31 PM »

Whew!  I only have to do 16!  Tongue
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2011 12:12:28 PM »

Here they are, my first try at stays (or corsetry of any kind  Shocked)Blouse standing in for chemise:




All hand sewn.  Not perfect by any means.  They are slightly too large, the strap is too far back at the armpit, the front comes up too far, the armpits are too tight.  So I could do to improve the pattern and make another pair.  But this was a fun learning experience.  Cheesy


This shows the silhouette a bit better:


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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2011 12:18:33 PM »

It's so interesting looking! I can see where you want to tweak the pattern but it looks great already.
Is it... comfortable?
Can you believe the things women used to get dressed in every single day, winter and summer? Whew, makes me hot just thinking about it!
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2011 12:29:34 PM »

Thanks!  They're actually pretty comfortable.  I would feel fine if they were tighter, they make me stand nice and straight.  Smiley The only really uncomfortable part is the straps, which feel like they're falling off my shoulders and digging into my armpits.  If I can fix those problems, they will be at least as comfortable as any of my current bras, I think.
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2011 06:43:56 AM »

I repatterned my stays but will probably hold off making a new set for awhile.  I'm currently sewing my test chemise and patterning my gown bodice.  I hope to have something to show in a couple days.  I'm a bit insecure about patterning the sleeves.... Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2011 05:49:40 PM »

Muslin rough chemise-in-progress and muslin rough gown bodice.  Chemise needs to be cut down quite a bit in front.  A couple minor changes are needed to the bodice but I think I'm just about ready to move on to a whole test dress:







Bodice is a "drop-front" aka "bib-front" "apron-front" style so I can get into it by myself.  Tongue

Here's my primary reference, except I'm doing gathers instead of darts:  http://www.vintagetextile.com/new_page_736.htm

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« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2011 04:25:46 PM »

Finished another set of stays:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=387756.0
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2011 01:14:54 PM »

Too many layers!   Shocked

I'm almost done with my dress and after a fitting yesterday I totaled up the number of layers of fabric I would be wearing as a properly dressed lady and it is too many, especially for my climate!  Chemise is one layer of fabric, stays are two more, a petticoat would be another layer or two, chemisette another layer, and dress two layers (lined bodice).  Total: 7-8 layers of fabric.  Tongue  I think I'm feeling more like trying the Directoire style of simply a chemise and lightweight overdress!  But my figure requires some kind of stays...

Of course 7-8 layers of fabric were not unusual for Europeans of the past.

Anyway, early Regency dress - without all the layers - coming soon!   Cheesy

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Miihamara
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2011 03:51:46 PM »

wow do you have a tut for it?
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2011 04:48:38 PM »

No, I haven't  taken many pics of the process.   Tongue  But I can probably post a pattern if you want one.

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Miihamara
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2011 11:36:51 PM »

yay a pattern! that will also do, I can't wait to try to make one, after I maken my crafty room ready
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2011 05:58:44 AM »

Ok, I will try to post a pattern when I post pics of the dress.  Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2011 09:51:06 AM »

Finished dress:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=388737.0
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2011 10:51:50 AM »



4 inch and 10 cm squares are for sizing it in Photoshop or however anyone wants.  Bodice fits a 30 inch underbust measurement.  1/2 inch seam allowance included on all pieces but the inside flaps which are bound with muslin strips or you can use bias binding, ribbon, etc.  Not included are pattern pieces for the placket binding, sleeve binding, sash, etc. Dress skirt is two panels.  The front approximately 27 inches wide by 48 inches long.  Sides and back are a single panel approximately 55 inches wide by 48 inches long.  This fits someone about 5' 6".  Anyone who wants to make this dress, I will be happy to help through the process.   Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2011 07:37:13 AM »

I draft my own, but also follow historical patterns which I can adapt etc
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« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2011 02:24:03 PM »

I was making a new pattern based on this one and noticed a weirdness I hadn't corrected in the pattern posted - the Front Side piece is a couple inches too long from top to bottom compared to the Back piece.  This isn't much of a big deal if you want the waistline considerably higher in the back than the front, but to give the appearance of my finished dress, you'll need to trim a couple inches off the bottom of the Front Side pieces to raise the front waistline.  It might be good to cut them as they are and mark where you personally want the front waistline. 
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LDTCrafty
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2014 04:36:31 AM »

Too many layers!   Shocked

I'm almost done with my dress and after a fitting yesterday I totaled up the number of layers of fabric I would be wearing as a properly dressed lady and it is too many, especially for my climate!  Chemise is one layer of fabric, stays are two more, a petticoat would be another layer or two, chemisette another layer, and dress two layers (lined bodice).  Total: 7-8 layers of fabric.  Tongue  I think I'm feeling more like trying the Directoire style of simply a chemise and lightweight overdress!  But my figure requires some kind of stays...

Of course 7-8 layers of fabric were not unusual for Europeans of the past.

Anyway, early Regency dress - without all the layers - coming soon!   Cheesy



If you've lined your dress bodice. You might be able to save a layer by just having a waist/strapped petticoat.
I only wear a full petticoat under a transparent muslin (unlined) dress.
http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/hsf-challenge-24-re-do-bib-front.html
Have you got Janet arnolds patterns of fashion? Some inspiration in that.
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