Regency Underthings

I know what you’re thinking…she’s sewing again!? I’m just as flabbergasted but there is a good reason! I have always loved the Regency time period, Jane Austen books and films, and my sister is an author of some amazing Regency novels! So when I heard about the Regency Retreat from her, I knew I had to go! (they’re sold out this year already!) Luckily, Rory was awesome enough to agree to my plans, and so my Regency sewing was off and going!

I  knew I had to start with the chemise and stays, like any proper Austen heroine. I chose the Laughing Moon Mercantile pattern, and after an initial freak out and shortish stint of being majorly overwhelmed, I jumped in and made a mock up of the long stays to test the sizing. I used the wrong fabric unfortunately in my first version, so I had to start over, but I learned a lot with that first go around that helped with the final stays.

For the second set, I used this duck canvas which ended up being perfect. I trimmed it in some white muslin I had on hand. I made a size 18 according to my measurements, and shortened the stays by about 1 inch. I’m normally a size 6/8 in ready made clothes, just in case you’re wondering how the sizing compares. I actually really enjoyed the process of making these! I made the theatrical version which uses boning instead of cording, it seemed much simpler!  Another author friend and experienced costumer Arlem Hawkes gave me the tip to use zip ties (which I had Rory grab for me at Lowes, the 14″ long 3/8″ wide ones) for the boning, which worked great and was cheap to boot! I did order my lacing and grommets from this etsy shop, and they worked great!

I did choose to make the straps the way the pattern shows for the corded version, just was my preference. I used a (free!) paint stir stick for the busk, making sure I sanded the edges so they were nice and smooth before I sewed it in. The grommets were actually really fun to put in and I love how the back looks! I used 1/8″ satin ribbon for the strap ties and the cup ties.

Well, here they are on me! I feel a little weird since it’s basically underwear but I’m also pretty much fully clothed by today’s standards! hehe.

They are actually REALLY comfortable! I love how it smooths out all the wrinkly bits that occur when you have children. LOL.

Oh also the chemise! I should talk about that. It was super simple, except for the freaking gusset under the sleeve. I had to do some googling to figure out how to put it in, the pattern didn’t explain it in a way that made sense to me, but I am a total visual learner. Once I saw a picture it clicked and then I finished it without any problems! I made a size 16 in the chemise.

and the back! So much fun. I felt like I was Lizzie Bennet or Emma getting ready for a day walking the English countryside in search of a gentleman to marry.

Then my kids burst in, thought I was going crazy, and burst that daydream. Charlotte did love it though, she clapped for me. She shall be my favorite for the rest of the day, at least.

I can’t wait to sew more! I have plans for a day dress, a Spencer, reticules, a ball gown, and a hat of course! Gotta be proper!

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