Bright Yellow Regency Gowns

…because there’s never enough yellow in my life!

I have to admit that Regency isn’t my period, so when it came time to look for inspiration for something to wear to Maggie and Albert’s Regency wedding, I was a bit at a loss.

I noticed a plethora of yellow in my Regency fashion Pinterest folder, and I’ve decided to go in that direction.    Here are some ideas…

Portrait of Amalie Auguste, Princess of Bavaria and Queen of Saxon, 1823
Musee McCord Museum, c. 1810
Meg Andrews Auctions, c. 1810
KCI c. 1800 – via

Evening dress, 1810, Centraal Museum

My vague plan is to attempt to use an Indian sari for a fairly demure cut of gown.  I know lots of amazing costumers have used saris, and I want to join that club! I’ve ordered one from eBay

It’s “art silk,” so…not real silk…but for the shockingly low price, I thought it good thing to “see about,” to experiment with, before coming to a final decision whether it will work or if I like it.  I admit to using some faux silks that were absolutely divine (but more that weren’t).

Now it will be hard to not jump right into making it when the sari arrives! Perhaps I should make my dress (quick and easy, right? ha, famous last words) before tacking Mr. C’s stuff…? eh? hehe, sounds like a plan!


  • Abigael

    March 1, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    LOVE that yellow dress on the top of the post. Question for you: I am trying to do a little homework about fabric types used during the Regency (and after) – as in weave types, printing techniques, embroidery, etc. Do you have a good book recommendation for this research? Thanks!

    • Lauren Stowell

      March 2, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      I read your tip about using the borders of the sari, and I'm looking forward to trying it out. I wish I could have taken the class that you mentioned, too!

  • Allison

    March 1, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    The first thing that caught my eye was the shawl in the first picture – I've never seen something quite like it. However, for the topic at hand – I love the yellow. I particularly like the draping on the bodice and sleeves of the 1823 gown.

  • Chelsea

    March 2, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    I love all the yellow inspiration! I have a Regency dress planned for next year (when I'm permitted to buy fabric again :p ) made from your yellow floral sprig fabric design on spoonflower. Just think how pretty that would be in cotton voile! I'd wear it with my yellow shawl which I have yet to embroider…

  • Nora

    March 2, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Lovely yellow gowns and a beautiful sari you've picked! I'm looking forward to the finished gown already! Saris are wonderful to work with, and they're a great source of dressmaking material. The variation of fabrics, desings embroidery and colours; the only difficulty is to make a choice 🙂 I made a turqoise and gold drop-front gown and open robe out of a sari just last year.

  • Seidenweberin

    March 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I look forward to see your project 🙂
    In case you need more yellow inspiration – we have some colour themed boards up, here's the one for yellow:

    P.S.: isn't the spencer from Persuasion? I haven't seen Bright Star, but I remember Persuasion (1995) quite well 🙂 Maybe you'll find some more pictures of it? The spencers used in Persuasion were simply divine!

  • AuntieNan

    March 2, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I too love the 1823 gown for its draping and lovely waistline. Before you showed the pics I thought you meant butter yellow, and was so pleasantly surprised to see these tangerine-flavored colors. Just lovely!!
    Nancy N

  • Anna

    March 2, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Haha, you know if you start on your gown first, you'll keep finding ways to tweak it and embellish it because it'll be a LOT more fun than boring old manclothes. That's the story of my sewing life anyway! I always have to get his things done first if there's a deadline, otherwise I never quite get to them…

    • Lauren Stowell

      March 2, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      Hehe, you're SO right. I should get the men's stuff done first. I have patterns for it, but no materials yet. It just seems like a huge mountainous task! I'll need a break to do things for me 🙂

    • Anna

      March 3, 2013 at 6:43 AM

      It IS a huge mountainous task 🙁 I've been promising my Mr. a number of 18thc items of clothing and while two pair breeches and shirts are easy enough, I've still only managed to produce one waistcoat and just finished a frock coat that was deadly boring. A great deal of online shopping breaks for random, unrelated items were required to just survive through it.

  • E. Waterman

    March 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    I wont say anything if you want to do the 1823 gown my love, ;).

    Also I cannot wait to see what you do with that sari!! GAW!! Might I suggest whatever you make easily transition into evening from day for the ball? Though you know you are always allowed to raid my costume closet for bits and bobs you might want to snag to wear…I did just finish a bright sky blue and white silk shako that would look fetching with that yellow spencer…: D.

    Whatever you do it will ROCK! Of that I have zero doubts!

    • Lauren Stowell

      March 5, 2013 at 7:58 AM

      Good suggestion. I think I might make 3/4 sleeves instead of the full length, and how can I resist some crazy-ass turban!? And tassels. There must be tassels. I shall be perusing your costume pics for inspiration, m'dear 😉

  • Steph

    March 4, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Ooooo, yellow! I admit that while I love the color in the gowns you show here, in general, yellow is my second-least favorite color (red is the first). I guess I tend not to like colors that don't look good on me. But it's really quite pretty and I think it would look smashing on you with your skin tone and hair color! I've always loved that "jonquil" velvet spencer from Persuasion, even if it is worn by the chilly Elizabeth Elliot.

  • KittyKatt

    March 5, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    The only thing that I have found about sewing with so-called "art silk" saris is that you have to remember that the fabric is not well suited to withstand stress, as it is not woven for use where heavy or weighted seam stress is an issue. Proper flat lining, seam reinforcement with bias tape, and using a good sharp needle (changing it often) will keep you from getting distorted seams and pulled threads. Make a generous seam allowance, too (finish those seam allowances), and consider interior support such as shoulder straps or an inner garment or lining to take the weight off of your waistline, and you should be in good shape. Sewing with a sari is lots of fun, and I love the look that you can get for not a lot of money!

    • Lauren Stowell

      March 5, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      That is excellent advice! I never would have thought of these things. I will be sure to reinforce everything, and will probably flat-line the bodice with something structural. I hadn't planned on lining the skirt, though.

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