Starting A ‘Bridgerton’ Pelisse à la Lady Danbury

Lady Danbury’s pelisse in this scene is actually made of layers of organza! I’m not so bold. Mine is taffeta.

Have you caught Bridgerton fever? I have!

I absolutely adored the glimmering gowns, character-defining color palettes, and strong aesthetic voice of costume designer Ellen Mirojnick. And so, naturally, I’ve been inspired to create a Regency footwear collection for Fall 2021, and that means lifestyle photoshoots, yay!

And lifestyle photoshoots mean sewing, yay!

First up, Lady Danbury and her fabulous burgundy, wine, and purple wardrobe. She wears a couple pelisses and I’ve always loved these Regency garments. Whereas there are two sparkly non-HA evening gowns in the works, I wanted to go a little more accurate with the pelisse.

Lady Danbury’s lavender pelisse, much more fabulous than my make, but very inspiring.

I splurged on an intensely gorgeous burgundy figured silk taffeta from Silk Baron.

I’m using the Black Snail 1815 Empire Spencer or Redingote #0319. I got the PDF download and spent a lot of scotch tape assembling it. There are some confusing parts of the skirts pattern assembling that require cutting and extending (to save on printer paper, I guess). There are also some confusing match marks, or lack thereof, but generally speaking the pattern pieces match up well, fit, and are historically accurate in shape.

I made some changes to the pattern. The first was to fold back the overlap skirt front so that the opening is center front instead of on the side. The second was to add a grown-on lapel to the collar, which is easier than you might think and kindof fun. Just draw that shape right on there as big or small as you want.

Now, I told myself I was going to primarily machine sew this garment, but I’ve already done way more hand stitching than machine. I did flat line the outer and lining fabrics and serged the edges of the seam allowance. I’m using a theatrical method of leaving the seams accessible, particular the side seams, for future alterations, especially as this garment will be worn by a model first and a me second, and I can do on-the-fly alterations.

Serging those seam allowances without shape.

All of the finished edges I did by hand, particularly on the lapel because it needs to lay just right. The double darts are also stitched with backstitches from the outside, another easy-to-pick part for future alterations.

Progress thus far, with the pretty collar revers.

So far I’m pleased with this make. Next I’ll do the skirts and then the sleeves and it’ll be done!


  • Gill

    June 21, 2021 at 8:54 AM

    I just want you to know that you inspire me. I’ve been taking classes so I haven’t been doing any big projects but I love reading and seeing yours. Plus after the classes I actually know what you’re talking about XD Thanks!

  • Connie Peet

    June 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM

    Thank you. As always, great, thoughtful content. I never fail to learn something from your blog and resources. Appreciate everything you do, and respect your ability to take the high ground in a community which seems to lose its way. You are one classy dame… in fabulous shoes!

  • Dorothy

    June 24, 2021 at 9:15 AM

    I have just ordered patterns and your books. I found your YouTube about three months ago and have voraciously watched your offerings. I am older – old enough to be your mom- but I have this dream of costuming my daughter and two nieces in 18th century ensembles. You are lovely. From your videos, your presentations have always included a wide range of socioeconomic costume and hair examples. I think you are an amazing entrepreneur and inspiration. Thank you.

  • Anna

    June 24, 2021 at 10:05 AM

    Yay, a new project! I have a woven cotton maroon pelisse cut out somewhere in the stash too *embarrassed facepalm* from like 2 years ago, sigh. Watching you do this might motivate me to yank it out of the depths, lol!

    • Deborah Borlase

      August 2, 2021 at 8:10 PM

      Oh my goodness, you’ve reminded me of my own eggplant pelisse that was started…I don’t even know how long ago. Definitely when I’ve finished unearthing my sewing room from the remodel, I will probably have to check about how the fit will be at this point…and probably re-start. I’ve lost a bit of weight now after the Pandemic Pounds and just plain ol’ age start kicking in, but the inches may not have distributed back to where they were… 🙂 Hoping to have a new ensemble done for next year’s CoCo along with something silly for Bridgerton wearing.


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