Project: Remake Regency Day Dress Sleeves
Material: 100% Cotton Quilting Fabric
Pattern: Sense & Sensibility Regency Gown Pattern
Year: Around 1815
Notions: Thread, hooks & eyes and ½” Buttons from my stash
How historically accurate is it? 30-40% maybe… The pattern itself was based on extant gowns, but I used modern sewing techniques to construct the dress. The sleeves I remade by adapting the Sense & Sensibility short sleeve pattern to create a ¾ sleeve which would also be accurate sleeve type for this era.
Hours to complete: 3-4 hours
First worn: Tried on for fit, but haven’t worn yet.
Total cost: Used fabric and notions from my stash.
First, I’ll start by saying I am not a fan of short puffy sleeves. They do me no favors and I just don’t like them on myself. As I thought about how I could accomplish this month’s challenge I looked through my sewing room and came across this UFO… A Regency Day Dress I had started 2, maybe even 3, years back. The dress came together quite nicely and fairly quickly, I didn’t even screw up the short puffy sleeves. Then I tried it on. BLEH. I lost all interest in the dress. Those sleeves! So, there it stayed in the UFO pile until now.
Historically they totally would have remade and switched out the sleeves. I pulled out the patterns and traced the top portion of the sleeve because I knew it worked correctly with the bodice, then I extended the sleeve and cut them out. Yes, I was daring! I jumped right into what was left of my fashion fabric. Living on the edge! But it worked out.
I gathered the top of the sleeve and sewed down the arm, then carefully pinned where to take it in. Once I was happy I trimmed the excess fabric and used it to trim the other sleeve. After that I sewed each arm length and did a small rolled hem before finally removing the dreadful short puffy sleeves and setting in the new ¾ length sleeves.
Then I added 5 buttons down the back and a couple of specially placed hooks and eyes. Lastly, I added two ½” pin tucks to the hem and small rolled hem.
Yay! Regency Day Dress is FINALLY complete! WIP pictures below.