A Regency Christmas Day Dress

I fell in love with this fabric, and it turns out it has been a popular choice with other costumers as well! I love when we all have the same “oooooh!” moment, and love to see what others create.

One of my garments for the end of the year is a festive day dress. I hemmed-and-hawed over fabric choice and design on this one, wanting to use stash fabrics, but I didn’t have anything sparking joy, so off to the local Mill End I went.

This dress is all about the fabric. I found the most wonderful green, pink, and white tartan cotton voile that is somehow woven with a sheen to look like silk. It’s incredible and as soon as I saw it I gasped, then cried when the bolt only had a remnant left on it, then squealed when I found another bolt! Meant to be!

I used the same pattern for the bodice as the checkered evening gown, but after trying to match the plaid on the curved back seams in any way at all, I re-cut the back as one whole piece and use a period-correct trick for faking the back seams. The effect is done with strips of bias just applied wherever you like, done in a contrast green silk that is carried through the rest of the gown, and now I have a perfectly “matched” plaid with no fuss.

The sneaky back with the “matched” plaid. This technique of just applying bias to make faux back seams comes from this original 1820s dress.

The skirt for this gown is made of two panels, each 54″ wide, using the selvedges, resulting in about a 107.5″ skirt. This is a fuller skirt – 80″ seems to be the standard – placing this gown later in the Regency, which I rather like. The skirt is trimmed in two wide trips of the green silk and hemmed a bit above the ankle.

For the sleeves, I originally intended them to be fuller and “bunchier,” tied at the wrist, in that later Regency way, but they came out rather straight. I’m fine with that, they still look good, but I ended up not going with the contrast green wrist cuff-thingies.

This was quite a simple dress and I’m very pleased with how it came out. I used it in a photoshoot for the Bertie pumps in green, dressing up the lovely Taylor, who fit the look perfectly. I threw together a little green velvet beret and paired the dress with a ruffled chemisette and the ice cream cone reticule. Adorbs!

Alas, this dress will have to wait for another occasion for me to wear it. My Christmas event was postponed and I cannot attend the new date. Luckily this dress works perfectly well for Spring and Summer too, so perhaps a Regency event will pop up in the near future, and I can finally don the costume myself.


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