Sewing your own Regency outfit.
Regency dresses are actually quite simple to sew yourself. The basic drawstring neckline dress is the best place to start if you are a new seamstress. Once you get into making your own Regency outfits you will never look back, and your Regency wardrobe will expand quickly!
- Jane Austen Centre Online Giftshop Sewing Patterns
- A mixture of Regency patterns from Sense & Sensibility patterns
- Laughing Moon Drop Front Dress Pattern.
- There are instructions for many different costume pieces at the Jane Austen Centre’s Website – https://www.janeausten.co.uk/online-magazine/hands-on-regency/fashion-to-make/
- The Guildhall Market, High Street, Bath.
- Fashion Fabrics, Green Street, Bath.
- Exeter Fabric Centre, 189 Pinhoe Road, Exeter.
- Fabric Land, Bond Street, Bristol.
Adapting an outfit.
It is also possible to create a Regency outfit from clothes you already have at home, or from items you find in charity shops. Here are a few ideas on creating your own Lady’s Regency outfit.
Long dresses, preferably with short puffy, or long slim sleeves are best. With an ankle length skirt, and no shape in the waist. A dress with an under the bust waistline is even better. You can then use a piece of ribbon or fabric to create a sash. Fitting it right under the bust creating that Regency high waistline.
Find a short jacket, preferably in a robust, stiff material, tuck under the bottom edges so it fits just under the bust line, and secure with a few stitches, or a few ties with ribbon. This will create a Spencer Jacket. Cropped military style jackets for ladies have been in fashion recently (as well as in Regency times!) They’re great for making your own Spencer Jacket.
Shawls can be large scarves, preferably light in weight so they droop nicely. Pastels or plain patterned fabrics are best.
Old brooches, necklaces or hair accessories can often be found in charity shops. Contemporary shops also sometimes have older-looking accessories. Fans can be harder to find, but souvenir or novelty fans work fine. Reticule bags are almost impossible to source, but it is very easy to sew your own reticule, they are basically just a little drawstring bag.
Gloves can sometimes be found in charity shops but it is usually easier to buy these from a fancy dress store or online. Just make sure to buy matte gloves rather than shiny ones.
Light pink or white tights can be bought from dance shops or online.
Flat ballerina style pumps are easy to source as Regency shoes.