Friday, September 11, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #6 - Out Of Your Comfort Zone

June – Out of Your Comfort Zone: Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.
The Dreamstress
Historical Sew Monthly
There was never a doubt as to what garment I was going to create for this Challenge and there was never a doubt that it was so far out of my comfort zone that I had no clue where to start.  Since I was going to be attending Costume College 2015 and the theme for the Sunday morning event was Breakfast with the Bennetts, this was going to be my maiden voyage into the Regency Era.  Research yielded wonderful inspiration and I realized that I might enjoy this new era.  This is the Kyoto Costume Institute exhibit that set my heart racing and if I were going to make only one Regency era costume in my life, this would be my inspiration!

It seems easier to venture into new eras of costume now that I have been sewing and blogging and making friends with some amazing costumers.  It was through some of these other costumers' recommendations that I found the pattern that I ultimately used for my project.  La Mode Bagatelle offers a Regency wardrobe in a single package.
The package contains patterns and a full instruction booklet for a wardrobe from the inside out and top to hem including trim and embroidery instructions.  There is a wonderful explanation of the pattern pieces to use for a riding habit and the luck continued from there!
A few years ago I purchased a sample hat from a costume hat pattern designer.  While the hat was in the style of the 1860s I noticed the style was also used during the Regency period  and similar to my inspiration although the sides of the brim were turned upward a bit more than my hat.  I had also purchased an embroidered linen fabric from the same milliner and it was a the fabric she had used for the hat.  What luck!  I had also purchased some beautiful dusty rose embroidered linen from her which would make a beautiful Spencer.  Since I had to teach a ribbon flower class at Costume College I decided to embellish the hat with ribbon pansies I had made.  I had a pair of dove gray shoes with a Regency impression, a length of dove gray chiffon, and purchased dove gray leather gloves.  My plan was complete!
Another stroke of luck as my class is scheduled for 9AM the same morning as the Breakfast with the Bennetts at Costume College.  I wear my finished gown and accessories to a beautiful breakfast and then to my Ribbon Flower class and find that Regency is quite comfortable although with the train I only have one hand to use at any given time as the other is holding my train so that I can move around the room.  Apparently that is a vintage pose!

While I'm waiting for my photos from Costume College to appear on the photographer's website, I'll show you the finished photos that I took at home.  Notice the pretty silk shawl?  A lucky find at the airport bookstore on my way to Costume College!  $14.99 and the colors were perfect.  It is shorter than those worn during the period but if they had had another at the bookstore, my shawl would be twice as long.  *smile*   Also lucky because with the pressure of packing in June for a move on July 7, there wasn't time to sew the Spencer.  But I'll save that for the Re-Do Challenge in December.
And here is my finished Out of My Comfort Zone Regency gown!
First, the bodiced petticoat.  I used coutil for the lining of the bodice and it is boned in four places.  There is a casing and drawstring on the entire upper edge.  It is made from a bleached muslin with a cotton lace at the lower edge.

The petticoat is extremely supportive and provides the perfect silhouette for a Regency impression, however, it is not modest by any definition.  So I'll share this photo on my dressform just to give you an idea of what I mean.


For the gown I chose the crossover bodice option with trained skirt and short sleeves.

The July Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge is called Accessorize and for that month I made the chiffon scarf and chemisette for the Regency costume.  I'll share a photo here so that you can see the complete costume although I do have a blog post for those accessories.  I have to admit, the entire costume was such fun to wear!!

Now I'll put this post in my draft folder while I wait for the photographer's photos. 
Edited September 11, 2015
The Costume College photographer's photos are available and I had such fun with the people at Costume College during Sunday morning's breakfast as well as the Ribbon Flower class I taught afterward.  The costumers are such wonderful people and every moment of Costume College is special!

Historical Sew Fortnightly
What It Is:  Regency Era Gown
The Challenge:  #6 Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Fabric:  Linen, muslin
Pattern:  La Mode Bagatelle Regency Wardrobe
Year:  1812
Notions:  Ribbon, buttons
How historically accurate is it?  The Regency impression seems good as compared to my research but due to time constraints I used a sewing machine for the gown and bodiced petticoat.
Hours to complete?  20 hours
First Worn:  Breakfast With The Bennetts at Costume College 2015
Total Cost: $55
Love always,


  1. Very pretty. I love it when you can bring all the things you have collected together to make a fabulous outfit. That La Mode pattern is one of the best investments.

    1. Thank you so much, Val! I missed your reply last September and appreciate you taking the time to write. I believe accessories are what really make an ensemble, The Perfect Touch!