Making a Regency Dress
Regency Period and Jane Austen

I have MANY photos on this site of regency dresses, to give you inspiration. The key here was that the style was very simple, very natural. It highlighted the natural beauty of the woman's shape. There were no fancy designs, no gigantic jewelry objects. It was all about simple colors, simple shapes, and the woman's form.

The muslin was thin and clung to the body. It was as if women were walking around in nightgowns. The waist is right beneath the bust to create a long, simple line, a "long legs" appearance. There would often be an over-layer of sheer fabric to help with this illusion.

During the daytime, women would often wear a thin piece of fabric called a "fichu" around the neck to cover up the open busom area of the dress. This was both for modesty and to keep the wearer warm. However, in the evening they would often remove this for a more fancy look.

To begin with, Simplicity has a Regency pattern that works quite nicely. Just be sure to make it from simple colors, staying light. People had candlelight at night, so dark colors would never show up at night. They would wear light / pale colors to show up well.

Muslin and silk were preferred fabrics.


A belt that goes almost perfectly with those dresses

Unfortunately these guys NEVER returned my emails, so I was unable to even consider using them for my own dress. Also, I think they mean "garter belt" not "wedding belt" - the width of this is a bit on the small side :)


A lovely jacquard style ribbon for the belt area

It looks a little pinkish in this image, but it is actually ivory/natural. It is gorgeous, simply gorgeous. I folded this in half for the belting area beneath the bust, then let it hang free (wide) down the back. It is beautiful on the finished dress.


A beautiful natural lace applique

You would use this for creating a line down the front center of the dress. Go with something very open and light here.



A beautiful natural lace applique

Another nice lace choice for down the front of a dress. The open design is perfect. I ordered this as a back up option in case my ES monograms did not come in in time. Ironically, the ES monograms *did* come in in time, and were gorgeous - while these had not arrived even days after the event :)


E S monogram lace

My initials are ES (for Elizabeth Shea) and I was *thrilled* when I came across this vintage set of lace monograms. They are just perfect for a dress front! The color matched my dress perfectly, I was so pleased how this looked on the finished dress.


Bottom trim for along the bottom of the dress

I realize it would be better to hand attach 80 quadrillion individual lace appliques along the bottom of the dress, but if you don't have the time or energy for that, this is a lovely compromise. After all, just who is going to be down staring at the very bottom of your dress? I actually didn't get this in time for my own dress, so I'll have to use this for my next project. I had to go with a more standard "ruffle" type of bottom.

Photos of My Regency Dress
Regency Clothing - long, white, simple


Regency Period Information



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