Thursday, March 2, 2017

Regency day dress (Laughing Moon Mercantile #126)

By arranging the Gustavian day event in Vaasa two years ago, Noora gave me a reason to make my first regency gown - so I finally did. She has been talking about how easy regency gowns are to make for probably as long as we've known so I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise that making a simple gown like this was quick and easy but I still couldn't help being positively surprised. Had I not worked on it a bit by bit in the evenings and mornings so that it took me a month or so to finish, I think the dress could have been done in much less time. It really had been too long since I could properly enjoy sewing so this gown really was a much needed relaxing project for me at the time, too.

The fabric was a remnant find from a local fabric store. I had seen it earlier there and hadn't bought it because at the time I didn't think I was going to be doing regency so soon but the second time I looked at it I couldn't stop thinking about getting it so I only had to ask for Noora's opinion before I could come to a decision. Looking back now I don't know why I hesitated so much because I think it's quite perfect for the era as well as a color that I love. ;)

Here you can see a close-up of the fabric, in a different lighting (indoors):

And later I even discovered an original dress that was made out of a fabric that reminded me of my find. Yay!

Knowing the fabric would make a lovely day dress, I simply started looking around for regency day dresses on the net and eventually found the following fashion plate (from 1801-1802), which became my main source for inspiration. 

Source: Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs via SceneInThePast.

I really like how the back side of this dress looks pretty similar to the fashion plate.

This was also my very first time using a commercial pattern for a historical dress. I had read a few positive reviews about the Laughing Moon Mercantile's stomacher front dress so I decided to give it a go. And yes, it was as great as everyone is saying. I only did some alterations to the pattern before making a mock-up and it fit perfectly. Construction-wise I deviated a bit from the modern instructions - although still making the internal seams on the machine - and added a third pair of ties to the middle of the closure in the lining (the pattern suggests only two pairs but I was afraid that it would cause awkward pulling).

To see other gowns made from this pattern check out Lauren's, Erin's or Dixie's lovely versions.

I would also like to thank to Mia for creating my lovely hair-do (as seen from the back above) and Noora for letting me borrow her chemisette, as I don't have one yet. :)


  1. This turned out beautifully! I have a question for you about the hem of your train - in one of the pictures it is slightlh turned back and I see a flash of white/cream. Did you use a deep hem facing on it? I have been considering a dress with a train but have been dissuaded by the idea of how dirty it would get!

    1. Thank you! :) There's actually no hem facing - the fabric just has the original (natural) color visible on the wrong side of the fabric that you see in the photo. I think hem facing might have changed the drape of the hem, plus I don't remember seeing hem facing on regency era gowns (Although I must say I've been doing regency era for only such a short while that I haven't done enough research to say whether or not they ever had hem facings) There's a really good blog post about keeping regency era hems clean here: I hope this helps!

    2. That is a really interesting article, thanks for sharing! Now I am curious about methods for pinning up trains...

  2. This dress suits you very well and I'm happy that you've given the fashion of around 1800 a chance!
    The share of photos makes me yearn for spring/summer!


    1. Thank you very much, Sabine! That means a lot coming from you. Thankfully it's not long until spring will be here! :)

  3. Oh how lovely! I really love the fabric you chose... so elegant. The back is so drapey, and the bodice is so cool. Ok, now I need to get this pattern!

    1. Thank you! :) I'd love to see you make a gown from this pattern - it's really fun to see everyone's different versions of it! ;)

  4. I do love this dress! The train is quite romantic. :)