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



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