New Regency Gown

Digital Changeling > Sewing > Costumes > New Regency Gown

At Intercon G in March of 2007 I was lucky enough to get into a LARP called "Railways and Respectability". It was run by an awesome set of GMs who flew all the way out from Great Britain to be there. The game was set in the 1800 - 1830 range, but they weren't too particular about exactly what period your outfit was from.

I had made a regency gown before (for the Curse of Whately's Monster a few years ago), but since then I've gained, well... rather a lot of weight. Anyway my old gown isn't even close to fitting now, so I had to go through all the work to make a new one.

Just like last time, I used a combination of the Simplicity belly dancer costume pattern and the Folkwear Empire Dress pattern. To be more specific, I used the bodice from the Simplicity vest pattern with the sleeves from the Simplicity pattern slashed and widened, and the skirt from the Folkwear pattern with the back panel widened. I didn't have as much time to fit the bodice as I would have liked. It still has some issues around the neckline and in the shoulders, but it's a bit late to do anything about it now.

The gown itself is made of three different fabrics and three yards of burgundy velvet ribbon. The lining of the skirt is a white cotton broadcloth. The underskirt and bodice are a gold colored quilting weight cotton. The over skirt and the outer layer on the bodice and sleeves are a poly-rayon sari that I bought on eBay quite a few years ago. The sari fabric has these little gold metallic dots. I did not like the dots, but I couldn't see them in the auction pictures so I had to work with what I got. I couldn't get the dots off with water or work, so I ended up just turning the fabric inside out so they wouldn't be so obvious.

I made a clutch bag to carry my various stuff in and I dug out some extra shoes that I brought for my suloise costume last halloween. I'm glad I didn't send them back, because they're perfect with the other fabrics. They're made of a burgundy velvet with delicate little wire embroidery all over them. They match up nicely with the paisley on the dress, even if they are a little brighter.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get pictures of the outfit at the convention. We were all rushing around trying to get some food before our games, but Kathleen was kind enough to help me put my hair up in a lovely style called a Gibson tuck and I think the whole thing came together very well. The pictures I've got here were taken by Alan once we were back at home. He was sitting down, so I look rather extremely tall, I think. The colors aren't quite true on either the flash or the unlit versions, but hopefully between the two you'll get an idea of what it looks like.