Friday, January 29, 2010

My First Napoleonic/Regency Dress

In December the Victoriana Society decided to make the Christmas function a Regency Picnic. This was the opportunity to sew my first Regency Garment.

My partner is a member of a napoleonic re-enactment group based on the Brunswickers. His uniform is very nice and gets a lot of compliments. Anyways for my first attempt at a Regency style dress I decided to try to make a followers dress for the Brunswickers using Nic's uniform as the basis.

I used the Sense and Sensibility Patterns for the crossover gown and Spencer Jacket to create this outfit. I only made some modifications to the collar of the Spencer. I was suprised at how easy this outfit was to make. Unfortunately I did not have the time to complete the spencer. Since then I have completed it.

This picnic became even more special as it was at this event that Nic proposed to me.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have been a member of a Victorian period living history group for about 6 months now. This is due to my partner who is a collecter and shooter of black power rifles. This hobby, of his, lead him to become a member of muliple living history and re-enactment military groups for both Regency/Napoleonic and 1850-60s. His passion has even lead him to partake in the re-enactment of Waterloo in 2005. His Victorian period (1850-60s) group is a South Australian volunteer rifles unit and has many living history functions. When we first started courting he encouraged me to become a member of a civilian Victorian living history group that could act as an outlet for my dorment interest in historical garments.

It is amazing how overwhelming the process of learning and creating garments can be. While I am lucky to have a great support group for sewing, this does not help with actual ability. I decided that while not fully period correct I would start out using simplicity patterns. I defend myself with the belief that before one can run, one must learn to walk. While I had learnt how to sew as a child, I had not used a machine for over 15 years and had to look the manual just to learn how to thread the machine.

Living history events are also very pushy for time. I had two weeks to create my first chemise, drawers and bodice ... cringe..... definately a daunting task. I am still very proud of my efforts and will always love my first garment. Thankfully the skirt was a gift from a new friend and mentor.
Once I had this outfit there was a little less pressure to sew for a while and I could focus on creating petticoats and a quality crinoline.