Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My First Dress of 2012 (1812)

Here are some details of my first Regency dress this year. Ironically, considering my previous post, I decided to make it in white!
 I decided to make a crossover style bodice which appears to be quite fashionable during 1811/12. Many period references seem to suggest that the dress is actually made in two separate pieces, rather than a dress with an extra panel piece added to the centre front.


So I made a separate under dress to fill in the centre front section.  I also found two existing under dresses in museum collections to support my research. It was also a useful addition to my Regency wardrobe as the under dress would fit under other gowns.

Simple, sleeveless underdress.

Underdress hem detail. The hem is quite large to give weight to the skirt so it does not waft!

Original underdress from Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In my hoard of antique trim I had this lovely piece of whitework. The pointed edge reminded me of some details I had seen in ‘Costume Parisien’ of 1811-1812. Luckily it was in two separate pieces so I used the smaller section to add detail to the sleeves.  I decided to pleat the whitework hem piece rather than gather to keep it flat.

So here is the finished dress. I prefer the fit of the dress on me rather than my mannequin as it is too small. Sadly I do not have any full length photos of myself wearing the dress yet. At the centre back I used a drawstring closure at the neckline and waistline. This is a typical fastening for dresses of this period. 

Centre back detail of original dress 1809-1812( Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion Collection)
Centre back of my dress. Closed with a drawstring at the neckline and waistline.
First outing of the Regency Dress
Front view (mannequin too small and wrong shape)

No dress would be complete without accessories. Here are some of the pieces I wore with the dress.

Comb, buckle and Cashmere shawl c.1805-1815


Kleidung um 1800 said...

Wow, it looks like an original piece! So beautiful and inspiring!!! I love that the trim on the skirt corresponds with the trim on the sleeves...

If this is the "starter" dress for 2012 then I'm super excited about what's up next :)


Ivy Long, Edera Jewelry said...

Beautiful! It really does look authentic.

ZipZip said...

So authentic and handsome. Lovely work as always.

Very best,


The Bohemian Belle said...

I's so lovely! I love the whitework.
And wherever do you find your wonderful accessories I would die for that comb! I have a feeling you can find nicer things in Europe than here in the states. I'll have to keep my eyes open next time I go home to Germany!

Katarina-otb said...

Charming dress and very delicate work) Can't stop admiring your outfits and accessories)
Good luck with your future projects)

Nereida said...

What an amazing dress. You're always really inspiring for me.

The trim is fantastic and what can I say about the accesories ; )


Rubina Scarletti said...

So well done & pretty!

Fichu1800 said...

Thanks for your comments :-)

Lorna McKenzie said...

That is exquisite! I have just found your blog, its a delight.

Dotsy said...

Really, really beautiful you are inspiring me to finally get going on what I have been wanting to do for a while now, Thanks, Dotsy

Fichu1800 said...

Thank you.

Sandi said...

Superb, as always. I also love the whitework trim, and the authentic look of this gown and petticoat.

I have just made my first petticoat, and have referred to your blog often, whenever I have got stuck with any details.

Thank you for being such an inspiration to us all!

Anne said...

Congratulations for your lovely blog! I'm inspired by your costumes, they really look like they were authentic clothes straight from the regency period.

Your wonderful book and this blog on regency fashion have been an eye opener for me on the importance of using the right kind of accessories with reproduction historical costumes! Choosing period appropriate accessories take the costumes to the next level.

Anonymous said...

Really lovely! I'm so pleased that you made a sleeveless underdress. I also just made an 1812 dress that required a sleeveless underdress. I found it pretty hard to find extant examples, so I'm glad to see that someone else has also made a similar garment that looks pretty darn similar to what I made from the scanty research information I had available.

Best, Quinn

Anonymous said...

Your work is so amazing! I am in awe. May I also ask where you got your gorgeous headpiece/hair comb?

Fichu1800 said...

@Countessed, I find these pieces on auction sites, antique dealers and sometimes at specialist antique textile and costume markets.