Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Regency Wardrobe Frenzy: Square One

After an inexcusable absence which I wont go into detail about, I have returned with a vengance and an entire OTHER blog to keep track of. (Oh jesus.)

So onto the topic at hand: I am throwing together an entire regency wardrobe (Three gowns, two [maybe three] spencers, three hats, and possibly a fourth evening gown, shift, stays, and wig) for a rather important event in September. Yep. September. I basically have a month to get this done; so let the frenzy begin.

Like any normal person, I started with the skin out..kind of. Stays. I've never made regency stays, in fact, every corset I have made for myself has been kind of a joke..sad to say but I'm not so good with underwear. So; after some research and obsessing, my first adventure was to try to make something out of the regency pattern I already had. That was a bust, because I had NO IDEA what I was doing (read: really really no idea) so that basically got scrapped in a fit. So I bought a pattern: Specifically the 'Reconstructing History' regency stays pattern.

Yeah don't. Ever. Use. Them. It was the biggest waste of my time and money i have ever experienced. See what most of you don't realize is that I am INCREDIBLY flat chested. Not oh hey its ok theres something, its basically not even a cup size to put it blatantly.

Ok enough TMI, onto more pictures.

Back to before I knew the pattern was a giant failure, I dove headfirst into stay making, by first cutting out my patterns, which at the time seemed tomake..well..some sense.

Yes, it is always a requirement to make the ugliest mock-ups ever.

So about an hour of frenzied sewing later, I get the strangest damn thing I have ever seen, which btw did nothing for my attempt at a regency shelf, stuffing or no.

In theory they looked like little tiny half stays, right? Post cutting off tabs of course and point.
Then I put them on abby..

As the picture says FAIL. I didnt even bother finishing lacing them up, I basically balled them up and chucked them across the room. So after waffling about what to do, I was assisted by two lovely Lauren's. Lady of Portland house sent me an amazing tutorial how to make a bodiced petticoat out of the Simplicity regency pattern, which I had.

And its working ITS WORKING!!

I did the mock up with the help of my wonderful roomie Amy who did the..very intimate darts. Much to the serious entertainment of The Doctor.
So after we got it roughly how we wanted it, i stuck them on abby and smoothed everything out

Now thats pretty good looking if I do say so myself.

The darts are meant to push the bust up and in a bit to give the lovely regency shelf as it is now being called, once the boning is in place and im placed up it will hopefully do the trick. I will also be supplementing under the bust with a little pad to..add what nature deprived me, sort of speak.

After many awkward moments and giggles, the mock up was finished and I was at liberty to cut out the pattern of my actual stay fabric.

By this time it was well past midnight, and therefor my bedtime. Tonights adventure will be getting them all sewn together and then mind the bottom. I plan on sewing the top edges right side to right side as I want a drawstring channel using the seam allowance and top stitching. Not entirely period but easiest for me.
More adventures to follow! Stay tuned.


  1. "intimate darts"

    *falls over laughing*

    love you, might need you to help me with a similar project in the future. If anyone is going to fit those darts on me it had better be you. Hurry up so we can see the finished result. (this is your fuzzy btw)

  2. yay! The stays at the top look...yeah, not sure what's going on there. They look very much constructed like 18th c. stays with that long curved, diagnol side seam. I think you'll like the bodiced petticoat better at any rate.

  3. Looking good! WTH is going on with the first stays. They are the strangest things I have ever seen. I agree with other Lauren, they look very 18th century, but like something is missing. Yes, you will def like the bodiced petticoat better :-)

  4. OMG I forgot the 'intimate darts'! lol, so much fun!