I Can See Your [Regency] Underwear…

As noted in a previous entry, undergarments are quite possibly the single most important part of your costume. They provide the foundation upon which your dress will be built, and will alter the shape of the body to fit the ideals of decades and centuries past.

Although I have not 100% settled on what exactly I want for a gown, I figured making a “bodiced petticoat” might be a good idea. This is simply a corselette-skirt combo, and was made using two Simplicity patterns – Simplicity 4055 (gowns), and Simplicity 4052 (corset – look like it’s no longer in print)

I made up the corset as-is, the only change being that I kept the straps detached so I could adjust them for lift and positioning. The skirt was the tricky part. The corset closes by tying in the center front, but to have an opening for the skirt there would likely show through the typically sheer Regency gowns that would be worn on-top. I also needed a skirt with the slimest line possible without being constricting. I used the “Skirt Front” piece from the Simplicity gown pattern as both the back and front of the petticoat. To solve the question of closing, I left top edge of the skirt free on the right side of the front, and turned under a narrow hem. When the corset is on, this free piece is pulled across the front (your ribcage/belly) and secured at the left side seam with a flat button. Problem solved. And look how nice it looks in the pictures! This will now provide a perfectly smooth front.

Depending on the neckline of the gown, I will very likely need to alter the front of the corset. As it is currently, it gaps at the front, and could be laced tighter, although the edges are overlaped as much as possible. I am thinking of cutting the center front of the corset down into something like a sweetheart neckline, which will hopefully solve both of my problems.I apologize for the “revealing” shots!

References and Inspirations

I can never recommend this book enough: Fashion: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute

Regency Movies to Watch:
-Pride and Prejudice (A&E, 1996)
-Emma (2009)
-Mansfield Park (1999)
-Sense & Sensibility
-Pride & Prejudice



  • Anonymous

    April 23, 2009 at 6:26 AM

    I just now thought of this forum, that you might find useful if you haven’t found it already.


    It’s owned by the woman who created the patterns you link to. You can probably buy OOP patterns from someone there or directly from the maker.

    Loving your progress thus far.

  • Fiona-Jane Brown

    April 24, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    oh, so this is what the boyfriend was so excited about. Like the bra, am a sucker for anything with ribbon ties! Good-oh, it all becomes clear now, the stuff on Facebook about wigs etc!!!

  • Poeci

    June 28, 2018 at 9:38 AM

    Hello, Idk if you'll see this (I know its an old post but I figured I would try). Im currently about to start a regency dress (Jane Austen fest next year! woot!) and was going to order this pattern until the moment I sadly realized it was out of print 🙁 I have your georgian stays and chemise pattern and am wondering If I change the sleeves (I was thinking of making it sleeveless tbh) and removed the ruffle would it work as a regency chemise? or will the neck be too high? It looks similar but Im just not sure… Thank you!


Leave a Reply