Saturday, June 11, 2011

Planning A Regency Wardrobe

I have to decided to start my historical wardrobe in the regency era. I'm starting there not without reason, of course. Firstly, in order to start in the Victorian or Edwardian era I would need to buy more supplies, supplies I can only find online! Secondly, Regency era fabrics, namely muslin, are a lot cheaper and easier to come by. Thirdly, regency dresses and undergarments are a lot simpler to design and the patterns are a lot simpler to work with. Because of the high waistline, the only fitted part of the dress is the bust area, compared to the elaborate bodices of the Victorian era. There also aren't any bustles, crinolines, bum rolls, or cages of any kind that have to be factored into the equation. Yay!

So, a regency wardrobe it is! My plans so far consist of a chemise, short stays, a bodiced petticoat, and then a thin linen, batiste, or muslin dress. Depending on how see-through and thick the fabrics turn out to be, I might have to add a second petticoat that either falls right under the bust or at the waist.

Now, the only regency patterns I have have are Simplicity 4055 (based off the Sense and Sensibility pattern), and Butterick 6630 (which is very costumey and historically inaccurate). I also have simplicity 9769 and 2890 (which are Civil War era underthings) that I will use for the basis of my chemise. I plan on making the bodiced petticoat by following the sense and sensibility pattern provided by the website ( which employs the simplicity dress pattern 4055. Similarly, I plan on using the 4055 bodice pattern to make the short stays, which I will base off of the simplicity 4052 boned short stays (which are also based off a Sense and Sensibility pattern).

Grated, if I do follow through with this plan effectively, I will have to add other pieces to my ensemble, such as a bonnet, stockings, shoes, perhaps a spencer and maybe even a fichu. But, until then, lets see how far I get.

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