One Last Regency Dress

The Sewing:

So I have plans for one last regency period dress before I go. I bought a few metres cream linen with a black check fabric awhile ago.

 

I love linen and one of my fellow reenactors sent me this image and I was struck by the dress on the left in the background.

At some point I read a description of this image on wikipedia commons and of course I can’t find it now but I think this image was titled "Dancing at the Waystation" or something. Apparently it displays an impromptu dance at a stagecoach stopover. See how they haven’t even bothered to remove their outer garments and that one guy still holding a whip? Positively shocking behaviour!

So anyway they dress… It looks to me like there’s a square neckline with a chemisette. I’m going to make an apron front dress with elbow length sleeves like my red half-robe. I just completed an apron-front out the blue floral/striped fabric that I posted about aaaaaaages ago back February, and I made short puffed sleeves. I don’t like them. They bind awkwardly but I don’t want to make them an looser than they already are. I also really like the look of the long fitted sleeves of this example however they’re not very practical for reenacting which is basically they only scenario where I’d actually wear this.  has an interesting example here where she has made a removable undersleeve for elbow length sleeves. I think I might give this a try.

My blue cotton apron-front was certainly a learning experience. Instead of posting about it alone I’ll do a comparison after I’ve completed this linen one.

The Sundry

Work is done for the summer and I’m sad about it.  I had so much fun and I learned so much! I’m definitely going to miss it.

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2 thoughts on “One Last Regency Dress

  1. Oh! I love that picture. It’s by Pavel Petrovich Svinin or John Lewis Krimmel, depending on who you listen to, and it’s described as:
    This depicts travellers grabbing a very hurried and impromptu dance on the road in early 1810’s America (in rural Pennsylvania?), and so shows practices that would have been considered rather inelegant in genteel circles in England at the time (such as smoking in the presence of ladies, smoking indoors, taking off one’s tailcoat in the presence of ladies — leaving a man wearing only waistcoat and shirt — and holding onto one’s horsewhip while dancing!).
    Courtesy of This page.
    The undersleeves for the dress you linked are really interesting…I’ve never seen anything like that for elbow length sleeves. Are you just thinking of temperature when you say that long sleeves wouldn’t be practical? Perhaps you could make long sleeves wide enough that you could push them up your arms, and hold them in place at the wrist with a little belt or band of some sort. I think there are a couple of examples of that in Costume in Detail…though I don’t have my books handy at the moment, or I’d look and make sure I have the right title. 😛

    1. I really find this image charming since it’s such an ordinary life-like image. I can totally see a group of lively people getting together to entertain themselves like this! Thanks for the link, I must have read that website’s description because I definitely remember that text.
      I’ve never seen a reference for elbow length sleeves with an undersleeve like that but they did really interesting things with linings and shorter sleeves under sheer overlays. It seems plausible to me to have that particular combination. I really like elbow length sleeves because I find them flattering and comfortable. If I was going to make the long sleeves I’d make them really dramatic and have them come down over my hands and I know from wearing medieval dresses with sleeves like that they can get in the way. I just checked Costume in Detail and you’re right there’s plenty of examples with cuffs or gathers at the wrist. But I just want to try the elbow length sleeves! If I’m careful with the pattern matching the break shouldn’t be to intrusive. I have a whole bunch of white vintage glass buttons I can use on the inside to button the lower sleeve in place. I really want to give it a go!
      I’ve got the bodice cut out and a few seams sewn but I’ve already screwed one up so I think I’m going to quit for the night…

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