"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Regency Ballgown - Part 1

So as you may have read my first attempt at using the sense & sensibility pattern was not a sucsses. I quite gave up on it. Then I started using patterns for simple things...building up my skill base. I also had a read of how to make a bodiced petticoat. Picked up the pattern again and gave it another go. This time it was so much easier. I also did the adjustments myself rather than letting mum make them. Lengthened the bodice for one thing and used darts instead of gathers.

I also looked up some actual garments for inspiration....
Like this
Source: metmuseum.org via Lady on Pinterest

and this

I noticed that they had waistbands like the petticoat. So I factored that in.

waistband hight is it ok?

I wanted to disguise the 'darts' a little and the images gave me the solution. Put trim over them. I'm going to make it so I can put a drawstring through the waistband at a later date if needed.
As it was an 'experiment' I used cheap material in my 'stash'....and was surprised how well they went together. The white is a linen blend and the claret colour is a poly silk haboutai.

The back will have a buttonhole closure. As I'm low on material the hem might come just above my ankle and the fullness at back taken in a little.

Which seems acceptable for a dancing dress. (looking at that picture I don't know how those slippers are staying on. If that was me they would have gone flying off my feet by now. lol!)
I may add some trim like a ruffle or lace to lengthen it if needs be.
I will update when its finished. But would love to know your thoughts on it so far.

Update 1
I've started on the sleeves and made the eyelets in the waistband.
 I'm planning on slitting the white fabric so the red colour shows through like the fashion plate above.

yes I know its upside down (forgot to rotate it before uploading)

Quite enjoyed making the eyelet its nicer tan making buttonholes.

And here is sleeve on the bodice. Hopefully suitably 'puffy' need to choose where I want the red-y lining to show.


  1. That is looking lovely! The colour is beautiful too, even if it is an "experiment".
    I love the inspiration-pictures too. Looking forward to seeing it all finished!

    1. Thank you. :)
      I'm finding pinterest very useful for gathering inspiration images (like a virtual mood board).