1790s Wrap-Front Gown – More Progress

The front crossing.  The ties will meet with as-yet-existent ties on the sides.  I love the adjustability of the drawstring, too…one can go from modest lady to regency floozy in seconds!

I worked a bit on the 1797 voile wrap-front gown last night.  Read about the start of this project and my references in this post.

Last night’s festivities included making the second half of the front, and also adding in a couple under-bodice pieces.  These aren’t much of a bodice, just a couple straps that attach at the side seams and will be laced across the front of my really-old-ugly-and-shoddy Regency stays.

under-bodice pieces, no lacing holes yet, just pinned.

The gathered bust pieces need a little taming, and I plan to wrangle them with tiny invisible tacking stitches, to keep the sides from puffing out weirdly.

The back, now with both straps hand-sewn into place.  I did some adjusting with the angle of the straps, to get it to fit my actual shoulders (as opposed to my dress form’s), although it may still be too wide

Next (and last) steps are to make up the loose-fitting sleeves, and to hem the skirts, which you see are too long now.  Then I can call this baby done, and move on to 1815 :-).

Please talk me out of leaving the train on the back of the skirt.  I love it, it’s soooo pretty, but so impractical, especially for a day event on turf, and with crowds.  Oh but can’t I just carry it around in my hand?


  • ZipZip

    March 23, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Carry it, carry it! Everyone did, and got to show off their clocked stockings and cute feet!

    You are making far better progress on your dress than I am on mine. I am recutting the bustline, adding fabric, and redoing the sleeves. Tight sheer sleeves are so NOT a good idea on me. Some say otherwise, but I run shrieking when I see thigh-arms in the mirror :}

    Very best,


  • Lauren Stowell

    March 23, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Haha, this is assuming I have clocked stockings and cute feet! I may have to have only a *slight* train, lol.

    Go for the loose sleeves! Comfort ftw!

  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    March 23, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Never have a slight train Lauren – you can't lift it up without unseemly immodestly but it will drive you just as mad as a long one. Always have enough length to pick it up an carry it 🙂

  • Jenni

    March 23, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    Lauren, it's looking fabulous! I can't wait to see it in person at the Jane Austen Festival! Your dress is the inspiration for the one I'm about to make.

  • Anonymous

    March 24, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    Really lovely. I have always wanted a Regency style dress but felt that as a very curvy short girl it would not be very flattering on me. However, I am beginning to feel the urge to make one…

    You are such an enabler. 😉

  • The Dreamstress

    March 24, 2011 at 5:23 AM

    Train plus fabulous detachable beaded train carrier!

    I like the front, it reminds me of Natalie Portman's 'potato' dress.

  • Hungarican Chick

    March 24, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    You can always put a single bustle-point on it or pin it up as some ladies did. The back is DIVINE. I can't wait to see it finished. I am so envious that you're doing this project and that it's so beautiful and successful. 🙂

  • Lindsey

    March 29, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    You should leave the train on! If it gets dirty beyond repair then you can shorten it for a new look. It would look so pretty with the train! 🙂


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