1806 Regency Gown

This was my first attempt at a historical dress & undergarments without outside support. It was a very quick project, and I wasn’t really proud of it afterward. (I’m a very impatient seamstress sometimes, and that really came through here.)

Patterned as a mix between two Janet Arnold gowns (primarily, the 1806 Snowshill dress). I’d been watching Pride and Prejudice a bit too often and decided to have a go at the ensemble. This was my first attempt at a historical boned undergarment – and overall a very fast project.


I believe I used Butterick 6630 as a base; from there, I cut up the pattern to get the proper back pieces. I gathered the skirt very slightly in front and heavily in back. The bodice was gathered onto a ribbon at front and back to adjust fit. (in the end, it was almost too small for my back, oops!



I also changed the sleeves to be set a bit further back for historical accuracy. (Not sure I achieved it…)

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The fashion fabric is a dark olive acetate taffeta; my final gown was trained, with a gathered drawstring waist and back. The bodice was lined in a matte green satin.

I also made a rather short chemise of cotton lawn to go under another new garment: steel-boned stays.

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The stays were my first historical support garment; I’d boned bodices before and done eyelets, so I gave it a go. I used Redthreaded’s pattern. They ended up the slightest bit too big (you can see that I could lace them closed). I screwed up one of the side bones a bit, so it wrinkled at the hip, and most importantly: I used fabric that had stretch. WHOOPS. (I didn’t realize my twill had some horizontal stretch until I’d cut quite a bit of it out.)

Instead of recutting out of new fabric like any sensible person would have, I quilted down grosgrain ribbon across the whole thing instead. ???

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I finished the stays with small metal eyelets and a handmade plastic busk.

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Finished product, plus bonus scrap of green chiffon serving as a fichu because the dress did not cover my stays:

(I sold this immediately and thus did not care about getting nice pictures with good hair and background….)

I’m looking forward to making another Regency-era dress eventually, with much better stays and construction.

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