Regency Era Ballgown Ensemble

What’s the first step in creating a dress?

No, it’s not picking out fabric or finding the perfect pattern.
It’s research! Especially when you are creating a historical ensemble. For my research I have several books I go to (I will do a blog post about them later) and Pinterest. Pinterest is wonderful! If you would like to see my Regency Era board I will link it (here).

I found several photos of original regency era garments to base my design off of.
I liked the design of a contrasting stripes on the bottom of the dress, the use of trim, and how two fabrics are used on the sleeve.

I blended all of these elements together, added by own take and came up with this!
I used Butterwick costume pattern 6074 as my base to work off of and then added my own elements such as the cap to the sleeve, the stripes to the skirt, and other trim work to make the dress my own.

But as you can see here I also have several accessories that I am wearing with the dress. As I’ve been working more and more on costuming, the more I’ve been realizing the way to really get that “look”, to truly looked like you stepped out of time machine, is to accessorize correctly.

Scottish Dance 11
That brings me to my sash. I made this dress for a Regency Era Scottish Dance (I will also do another blog post about this awesome event) and this sash is made out of my family’s Tartan. Now did people actually wear sashes like this with their dresses? The answer is yes! I found a fashion plate from the era depicting it.

Long gloves that came up to or over the elbow are what would have been worn to a dance during this time.
And a diadem or small tiara would have also been popular. Now you can’t just find regency era diadems easily on the internet, and if you do find one it is going to be on the expensive side of a budget. So, I got 6 inches of brass lamp banding in a design I liked and looked period appropriate, then got three sets of fake emerald and diamond earrings in a teardrop shape. I took the earrings off their wires and hot glued them to the brass lamp banding and TADA! I now have a regency era diadem.


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