A Regency Dress


Hello dear readers! In my last post I shared a sneak peak of this regency dress in progress, promising to post about it once I got some good photos. Well, thanks to a visit with my wonderful photographer sister, now I can!


Gabe and I bought the fabric for this dress on our last trip to Colonial Williamsburg. The museum had just opened up their exhibit on printed cotton fashions, and to honor the occasion they also released a small collection of reproduction printed cotton! So, 5 yards of this lovely print from the collection came home with me to be turned into a historic dress. The form of the dress wasn’t decided until I realized my desperate need for something that could be worn both during and after pregnancy, and what style could fill that need other than a Regency dress?


So, I bought a wonderful book: Regency Women’s Dress, by Cassidy Percoco, and set about drafting a pattern based on the Morning Dress shown in it. I followed the pattern in the book almost exactly, making a few tweaks to the fit and such. I found the sleeves were too wide for my taste, so I narrowed them quite a bit, while still leaving some nice fullness.


The dress is a drop-front style, fastening with thread buttons (made by my wonderful tailor husband) at the front corners, and tying in the back. The entire dress is hand-stitched, and the bodice and sleeves are underlined in linen.


Dress: Made by Me / Bodiced Petticoat: Made by Me / Earrings: Vintage Store / Necklace: Grandmother’s / Shoes & Stockings: American Duchess

My favorite part of this dress would have to be the sleeves. They offer such a wonderful range of mobility! And I love the fact that the silhouette of the dress will be able to take me through the rest of my pregnancy and on until after the baby is born. I have about a yard of material left, so I hope to make either a matching chemisette at some point, or some sleeve extensions. We shall see which I decide upon.


Some of you may be wondering about undergarments for a dress of this style. I did not have the time or the patience to make myself a pair of stays (besides, who wants to fiddle with fitting stays on an ever changing body shape? Not I!), so I opted to make myself a bodiced petticoat instead. What is that? Well, it is basically a low-cut underdress, with or without boning to be worn under your dress as a petticoat/camisole/support garment, depending on your needs. I made mine out of linen and added boning, since I was going to be using it as my support garment. I shall have to do a whole post on bodiced petticoats in the future, because I absolutely LOVE them! I only have one currently, but I want to make myself half a dozen to wear not only under regency dresses, but also my more modern day apparel. They are SO comfortable!


What have you been up to lately?

Have you ever made a Regency Dress?


Brigid E.

Author: Brigid Everson | Photography: Charlotte Boyer | Photo Editing: Gabriel Everson

17 thoughts on “A Regency Dress”

  1. That fabric is stunning. Which museum and where was the exhibit? Do they still have the fabric? The only reproduction printed fabric I’ve seen available was from Europe and so very expensive. I wish there were more options. I cannot find very many modern floral prints that are elegant (other than Liberty).
    I’ve been to Williamsburg twice, but that was a couple years ago. I could go again. I just loved it. Just the manageable size not to be overwhelming.


  2. So beautiful! And I would love to see a post about bodiced petticoats.
    Honestly the thought of making a regency dress for during/after pregnancy didn’t occur to me. However after seeing how stunning you look and how wonderful that gown is, I will definitely have to plan for that next time around 🙂


  3. I have never made a dress. I am going to start to learn to sew. I have several books to study. That dress is beautiful. I love the pattern of the fabric. God Bless you and yours.


  4. It is truly a lovely dress Brigid, and beautifully worked!
    I am very intrigued by a post on bodiced petticoats! Would love to see how you make them.


  5. How lovely! I’ve made Victorian and Civil War dresses before and hope to make a Revolutionary War dress soon, but I have never tried a Regency dress! I would love to make one someday. I MUST find some fabric like this! It’s beautiful. 🙂 I’ve never been to Williamsburg, but it’s a dream of mine. When I do get to go, I’ll definitely be buying some of their reproduction fabric!
    ~ Megan Joy


  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit! Williamsburg is my hometown, and I have been to the colonial section thousands of times. It’s such a beautiful area


    1. Sense & Sensibility’s patterns were actually what got me started into more historical sewing. They were a great start for me, because it introduced me to proper silhouette and such, even though I didn’t understand more of the history and fit. It does take time, and that is one thing I love about sewing: You are always learning something new.


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