Historical Costume In A Day: Regency

scenario you were invited to a Jane Austen themed tea party and it's tomorrow and you have nothing to wear or perhaps you're invited to a Regency fair or maybe a Renaissance Faire but you want to buck the Renaissance fashion trend and go in a Regency dress instead or maybe you're one of the many people who commented on my wrap shirt video that you would rather see a Regency dress tutorial or maybe you're just want to dip your toes and a vast an exciting world an historical fashion and you want to start small because eventually you would like to make things like the Regency era is a great place to start it is pretty simple it requires the least amount of fabric of pretty much any historical era with the exception of like Adam and Eve know this Regency dress won't be entirely historically accurate for instance we will be using two sewing machines on it and elastic which wasn't around back then but elastic makes it automatically simpler because you don't have to fit yourself as well and it expands so you can share the dress with your friends oh no my friends don't really like playing dress-up though they stop the linking playing dress-up when we were like 12 which was really inconvenient because that's when I started selling a lot of costumes so I just I do have one friend who is down to clown though and she is gonna be making this dress alongside me and she is a beginner so that will show you just how simple this dress is cue Courtney Courtney what's your favorite movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers what's your favorite movie that came out in 2005 with Keira Knightley in it praying furthest describe your sewing experience I made a skirt and a little headband for 4h with my grandma but I really didn't do any of it she the whole thing got me second place so Courtney and I are both going to be making Regency dresses Courtney is not a super experienced sewer but has some experience okay one one experience and do any of it one time okay but I think that she can do this I think we're gonna be able to complete this in a day actually it's already like four o'clock it's like poor so let's see if we can complete this in like half a day we also have to make a Walmart trip first so okay so I feel like I need to explain the reason we're going to Walmart and not Hobby Lobby or Julian's or something it's just because I was at Walmart yesterday and I saw like this whole bin of clearance fabric so Courtney thinks he likes this one we did a little scan on Pinterest to make sure there is precedent for a stripe regency dress okay so we weren't really sure about Courtney's length from shoulder to fight and the lady didn't have any measuring tape in her desk so we had to go by what we knew her height was and subtract her head to neck ratio thing and it was a mess but I got it figured out and I'm about to make it a whole lot easier on you so if you're an average-sized female you're gonna want to get a piece that's three and a third yard long and if it's 44 inches wide that will be perfect if you're extra tall get a piece that is three and a half whichever height you are you're gonna want to get a second piece of fabric cut now if you want long sleeves for your dress you're gonna want to get 3/4 of the yard if you want three-quarter length sleeves you're gonna want to get half of the yard and if you want short sleeves just get 1/4 of a yard next make sure you get yourself an elastic that is not too thick but not too thin either maybe 1/4 an inch now if you want to be more historically accurate or if you just prefer discomfort and inconvenience you can use some sort of cotton cord or ribbon as a drawstring now when you get home you want to unfold that fabric to its full 45 inch width and then fold it in half vertically next we pretend that you're an extremely wide unbelievably flat person and draw neckline according to that thought now don't make armpit holes like I did here learn from my mistake watch what I did with this miniature version of the dress I just left the sides straight now I drew the neckline and then folded it in half to cut it to make sure it will be even on both sides now you want the front of the neckline to dip down quite a bit more than the back of the neckline because women of that era were apparently not familiar with the phrase modest is hottest and the easiest way to do this is display the whole dress out and then fold it in half vert hers I will just show you on this miniature dress and hopefully that makes it make more sense lay it all out flip it over snip snip snip and tada let's see how Courtney is doing repeating my steps now the fabric she bought was 60 inches wide so she was able to cut like a child-size width off of the side then she folded what she had left in half perfectly repeated my armhole mistake and cut the neckline for the next step take your dress to the ironing board intending to press the neckline down a half inch all the way around halfway through though get sick of it because let's be real that is a huge butt neckline and decide to wing it instead take your dress to the sewing machine and just use your logic or you know you could also pin it down first just make sure when you sew it you leave space enough for your elastic to fit through here's a little clip of me completing this step on my miniature dress and here's a clip of Courtney and I completing this step at the same time hashtag twinning so we were gonna stay focused and make sure we got those dresses done tonight and we probably still owe Update they had it for this next step you're going to want to use pinking shears if you don't have pinking shears try cutting the fabric by ripping at it with your teeth cut a long strip long enough to cover the back and front of the waist of your dress now to create that Empire or home PA waistline you're going to want to place that strip of fabric relatively close to the neckline it should hit just below the bust pin not strip in place all across the front you might want to fold the dress in half just to make sure it meets in the same spot on both sides now repeat the same process with another strip of fabric on the back but just make sure it lines up with the piece that you put on the front so then you are going to sew all along the top and bottom of that strip of fabric to create a channel for your elastic next sew up the sides but don't saw that area where your channel is just just hop on over it like a bullfrog hopping over a tortoise now if you didn't make those armpit holes like you shouldn't have just stop sewing about 11 inches away from the top I know that doesn't make sense with this clip because I'm sewing downwards but that's because I made a mistake remember next get the size of your elastic right by wrapping it around your neckline and your waist about how big you want it to be and then just snip it next use a safety pin at the end of the piece of elastic to thread it through your neckline you're probably gonna have to cut a hole too you know descend into the neckline channel and then thread the elastic through the waist but there should already be openings for that and when your elastic has emerged tie both ends together this your favorite part so far another variation you could try is cutting a little keyhole in the front and stringing a ribbon through and tying it on the outside awkwardly measure your armpit hole opening now draw a general sleeve shape and make sure it's just a few inches bigger than what you measured okay now don't be annoying about this don't think about it too hard just slightly too big okay now with your dress and your sleeve piece inside out you're going to pin them together right sides together the top of the middle of the sleeve with the top of the middle of your shoulder now when I make sleeves my rule of thumb is I always make them large and in charge I make them way too big because you can always try it on and take it in all the live long day but it is so painful to add more fabric now if you have a lot of yourself a few extra inches on the top you can sort of do some folds and puckers on the back of your sleeve it just gives you a little bit more mobility and it's just a little facet of a lot of regency dresses something you would see a lot on them I don't know if I use the word facet correctly if you have never sewn a sleeve onto anything before I would just recommend that you get on YouTube and look up a video specifically about sleeve making although maybe you don't have to because Courtney had never watched a sleeve making video and had never made a sleeve before and she kind of breezed through it like a pro okay now if you've never made a sleeve before I think I recommend doing this short sleeves they are actually so easy and fun it's angering it's actually not I actually don't really get angry anyways just make this general sleeve shape a little bit bigger than your armpit hole opening the shape will be sort of like this oh it looks like a headboard doesn't it like for a bed that's not what we're making though and maybe someday you're just kidding never I will probably never make a headboard anyway flip the edges under about a half inch or however big your elastic is and then sew it on up now after you have your two sleeves cut don't put the elastic and yet first bunch it up and pin it to the shoulder of your dress and sew it on there right sides together I hope this makes sense if not I'm sorry I failed you so then now you are going to sew up the armpit part of it and then you're gonna thread your elastic through this is such a cute little girl dress I really was hoping I would be able to find a three year old for the day of to model this dress but I don't stay tuned you'll see what happened now if you made the regular regular red blue you're why can't I say that regular sleeves just roll and hem them under okay so normally a him is something I would iron first and then maybe hand sew even but you know what it's already past 11:00 and wing it I did with the rolled hem and that was the last thing that I did on my dress that night and the only other thing I did was I cut this piece of gauze to make a little fee shoe which is like a neckerchief thing and at that point in the evening we were done and we felt like frolicking in because I just couldn't get enough this project I made another version of the dress the next day by folding the edges of a bedsheet into the center cutting out a neck hole in the back and then hand sewing the shoulders up all bunchy like and then for the waist I did a drawstring waist using a ribbon tied at the front other than that the steps were the same if you want some accessories to really complete that Regency look you could make a Spencer which is a Regency style jacket I just find a jacket at Salvation Army and cut it short I have made a Spencer once out of a pair of dress pants that I'm pretty sure my brother was about to donate to Salvation Army and it turned out pretty cute so I wanted to make another one and film the process but I'm doing it a lot quicker this time by just kind of cutting a jacket short and adding some decorative stitches in the back now the decorative stitching just instantly makes it look like you put way more work into it than you actually did and it makes it look more historically not least shirt jacket the jacket think that I got came with a pair of pants okay some silky pants and I cut those off and maybe someday I'll wear them as shorts and I used a strip cut off of those to make a bias tape to put along the bottom of my spencer don't I sound so historical when I say Spencer pretty sure that's the name of one of Tony Hawk's sons if I remember correctly and lastly I hand sewed on one of those little closure things that I took from the bottom of it onto my little bias tape piece oh and ripped out the shoulder pads cuz this ain't no 80s now to make a cute little muffin hat turban thing I got the band exactly my head size and then I cut the closest thing I could to a circle with the fabric that I had then I sewed elastic all around the perimeter of it tugging as I went okay you guys have no idea how many takes that took for me to say perimeter right and next I sewed on that little hat band that I wrapped around my head earlier yep remember that good times oh but before I did that I sewed a little ruffle on to it I'm sorry I didn't think you'd find that important and then I sewed this little tiny band on so that I could stick a feather in it yes a feather is pretty much necessary to get a feather simply go out your back door into your back yard into your dug pin and get one off the ground don't pluck it from the duct as it will hurt them if you decide to hand sew trim onto your hat at church make sure you sit in the balcony so that you don't distract anyone and also don't let yourself be distracted still take notes here was a good one I got that Sunday people are more important than plans and now the grand reveal with a special guest Courtney's little sister Ruthie who had been taking a nap and then was abruptly awoken told to put on this dress and curl the front of her hair if you'd like to know how to make the bonnet she's wearing or as she called it cone of shame I could make a separate video all about bonnet making and don't worry it would not be nearly as long as this one protip to giving your outfit that jane austen e flair is to pair it with a sha they are relatively easy to find at thrift stores another great way to sell the costume is to say Regency like things that you would hear in a Jane Austen novel I do wish we could find some wealthy married women our lives would be vastly improved if you're really cut for time and easy Regency hat would just be wrapping a cloth around your head turban style and if you want to get full enjoyment out of your Regency costume I highly recommend frolicking you won't regret it once again thank you so very kindly for watching my video and thank you to Courtney for making this a dress didn't she do lovely for her first historical sewing project Courtney how did you find her experience it was stressful but very very nice at the end any one of these costume pieces you could make in a day in fact it could probably kick your button to get and make them all in one day anyway let me show your braces they're not historically accurate


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