Blue dotted regency dress – Finished!

I finally got around to make some photo’s of my new dress! I also made long sleeves, but I forgot to take one when we took the pictures, so I only made pictures with the short-sleeved option.





The front of the dress. Two puffed sleeves and a gathered front to the bodice. The outer fabric is sheer silk, so I lined it with the blue cotton I also used for the waist and sleeve bands.




I wanted the front of the dress to not be gathered, to create a slimmer silhouette, which I think worked out quite well!




From the side. I made loads of gathers in the back for the regency ‘pouf’. (Does my butt look big in this? Yes? Good!)




And from the back. I made the closure with hooks and eyes, with a ribbon at the bottom of the waist band to ensure that fitted closely.




Center back.


Construction posts:

Dress construction


Dotted Regency dress

It’s been a while since I posted on this dress, mostly because I haven’t been working on it a lot, but it’s at a stage where I wish to show it! Almost done, I just need to make the back-closure and hem the skirt and the short-sleeved version will be done. Then I just need to make the detachable sleeves and a way to attach them. But at this point, it actually looks almost like a finished dress.

This was the fabric I started with. It’s really the type where photo’s don’t do it justice though, the light changes the color subtly.

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For the body I used Sense & Sensibilities ‘Elegant Ladies Closet’ pattern as a base, but I changed the front piece as I only gathered the outer piece (and a lot more than in that pattern), but not the lining. This is the construction of the back bodice in progress.

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The whole bodice without sleeves. I chose to gather the silk only and just attach it to the lining so it would stay gathered. Not very period as far as I know, but I preferred this to inserting a drawstring as the skirt will not be gathered.

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Fitting the bodice, it works. When I attached the sleeves I found out it was a bit too tight after all because I pull the back of the bodice forward with my arms… Next time I’ll need to make a mock-up with sleeves and try to fix that.

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Working on the sleeves. I again used the short puff sleeve as a base, but I added an extra puff for variation.

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With the skirt attached. The waistband is attached to bodice and skirt. Again, I don’t know if this is period, but it worked for me.

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Sorry for the bad photo, and I need to iron the skirt… Anyway, it looks like a dress!

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This photo was taken before I attached the back of the skirt to the bodice, but that’s done now. A lot of gathering at the back! This fabric is so light & thin that it gathers perfectly.

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Not too many progress pictures as I forgot, but in a next post I’ll do some shots of the interior of the bodice and the finished seams. Next post will hopefully be with the finished dress on me!

Dotted Regency dress

A while ago, I wrote a post about my planning for a new red/white regency dress. I since went fabric shopping for this project, and of course, found the perfect fabric for a completely different dress. I’m still going to make the white/red one, and already have a possible fabric choice, but it’s just a little too heavy for what I wanted, so I’m going to see if I can find anything better first.

The fabric I found was a lovely gray/blue dotted silk. It’s a bit sheer, and the color changes a bit depending on the lighting, and it was just so generally pretty that I couldn’t resist. I figured I could make two new dresses, right? After I’d bought it, I went looking for period dresses in a similar fabric, being sure I’d seen it somewhere, but I think that was just my imagination. I did, however, find a fashion plate a few weeks later which matches! I guess my intuition on period fabrics is improving. The plate is of a pelisse, not a dress, but it’s good enough for me!

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And my fabric. The blue below is the lining. (because it’s a bit too sheer to do without and white lining didn’t do anything good for the color.


Look at how similar they are! It’s things like this which make the costumer-me very happy.

Because I hadn’t actually planned this dress yet, I went back to looking at original dresses and made a design sketch. I wanted a lot of gathers because the fabric lends itself to it so perfectly, with the only exception being the skirt front. A gathered round skirt looks good on many figures, but I’ve only got a small difference between bust & under bust measurement, and I have the suspicion that if I wear a front-gathered skirt I’ll either look like a shapeless tube or pregnant. I want a somewhat slimmer line, so the choice was made for a gathered bodice and skirt back, with smooth skirt-front. I also went looking for sleeve styles, and found some images of dresses with a double puff sleeve which looked both easy to achieve and pretty. Finally, I want to make detachable long sleeves, as most of my occasions to wear the dress will be evening, but the fabric seems a bit more like day-wear to me.

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Two of my inspiration pictures for the sleeves.

The final design sketch for my new dress! Obviously, it will either be two long sleeves or none, but as they will be detachable I wanted to see both the with/without option in this image.

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I’ve already started working on this dress, but I’ll show some pictures when the project is a bit further along.

Inspiration – Dots

Everyone knows the stereotype 1950s red dress with black dots, but they have been around for much longer. Somehow I’m always a bit surprised to find dots on older garments, but I really love them. So just for eye-candy, here’s a collection of dots in Victorian fashion plates.

1860s. I adore this dress.


1860s. A more subtle application of the black-on-white pattern


1870s. Another black/white dress. The fabric almost looks sheer, and look at all the little bows!


1880s. A very nautical version of dots.

1880s. I really love the icy-blue/dark red combination in this dress.

1880s. Pink, anyone?

1880s. I’m not yet sure if I find the yellow/purple combination brilliant or horrible.



1880s. I’d never have believed that this pattern was historically correct for Victorian fashion, but here it is…