Monday, February 29, 2016

Not a Regency Open Robe, But Something

I had grand plans for Historical Sew Monthly this year. In January, for the procrastination challenge, I was going to make my regency stays (I got those done at least!). Following the completion of those I was going to make this drop-front regency dress, and hopefully get it done by the end of the month.

 Well that didn't happen. Then for February's tucks and pleats challenge I would make this lovely early regency open robe to go over my new dress and stays.

The robe is shaped with pleats, and I had already bought the fabric several months ago, so what could be better for the tucks and pleats challenge? Nothing, well except for the hood I decided to make instead of working on my regency dress apparently. (I am very happy I made the hood though!)

Once my hood was done I started working on my regency dress again. Then I remembered, I needed a regency petticoat. A bodiced petticoat like this one at the MET Museum.

 So, I picked up a cotton sheet from a thrift store and made myself a bodiced petticoat one night.

I adapted Simplicity 4055 for the bodice, then just cut rectangles of the correct portions for the straps, waistband, and skirt. I sewed the straps to the bodice, gathered the skirt into the waistband (keeping the gathers at the back and sides of the petticoat only), then sewed the two together.

I added some eyelet from another sheet onto the bottom of the petticoat for decoration, then regulated the length by adding 3 one inch tucks. 

The entire petticoat came together really quickly, then I was back to sewing my regency dress. To keep with the tucks and pleats theme of the month I decided to add some tucks to the sleeves for decoration.

So, I got the bodice and sleeves done and all I had to do was set the sleeves. Then somehow, I'd actually really like to know how, I managed to loose a sleeve. Uggg, I searched everywhere for it, then set the entire project aside in frustration. I didn't work on it for a couple weeks due to frustration and kidding season busy-ness. Finally, last week I gave in and just made a new sleeve. As of now the sleeves are on and bodice is done! (minus the drop front that will be attached to the skirt)

So here it is, the 29th of February, and my regency dress still isn't done. At least it's closer than it was a month ago! Hopefully, maybe, by the end of next month I will have a regency dress. Meanwhile, I can be thankful I now have the proper regency undergarments. Also, my bodiced petticoat does have three tucks in it, so I can use it as an entry for the HSM tucks and pleats challenge. 

What the item is: A regency bodiced petticoat

The Challenge: #2, tucks and pleats

Fabric/Materials: 100% cotton sheet

Pattern: None for skirt, waistband, and straps, Simplicity 4055, heavily adapted for the bodice

Year: 1800 - 1820, approximately

Notions: thread, cotton cord for drawstring, cotton blend eyelet, coconut shell buttons

How historically accurate is it? Well, the fabric choice and look are correct, but it's all machine sewn with poly thread and poly/cotton blend eyelet. So maybe, if I'm being generous, 60%

Hours to complete: 3

First worn: just for fitting and pictures, the dress to go over it isn't done yet

Total cost: $1 for the sheet, everything else was stash, left over from other projects.

This month may not have been extremely productive on the sewing front thanks to missing sleeves and baby goats, but at least I got something done for my regency ensemble!


  1. That is so beautiful! I'd wear it as-is for a summer dress (historical dressmakers cover your ears). I can't wait to see the dress that goes over it ... and look forward to learning more about your goats. :)