So here is the finished dress. The title 'It's so pretty' is a reference to the only words that came out of my nieces mouth last week when she tried on the first Regency style dress I made. From being a noisy 13 yr old with a non-stop voice she became a tiny quiet young lady and repeated the words 'It's pretty, it's so pretty' - completely lost for any other words.
Worn over a plain white cotton slip, this dress is made from a very lightweight silk. The pattern is that of an original evening dress dating to 1816-19 but with different finishing detail. The original had a plethera of silk net, this dress has padded rouleau loops, which was popular decoration at the time. The bottom of the sleeves and the bodice are finished with padded rouleau loops, the hem is finished with padded tucks in imitation of the rouleau loop decoration and the rope detail round the neckline is another padded rouleau loop twisted and sewn in place by hand.
The back of the skirt is gathered with tiny cartridge pleats, the front is completely plain. The skirt of the original dress was four panels wide, the width of the panels was quite narrow, probably the width of the silk fabric used to make the dress. In the early 19th century silk was often available in narrow widths of between 18" and 27" (45 - 67 cm). I decided not to cut the silk that was provided so the skirt of this dress is slightly fuller than the original as I used two widths of 45" (115cm) silk in the skirt so this skirt has approximately 10" (25cm) more fabric than the original.
work in progress pics work in progress pics [link]
finished bodice [link]
Available to order [link]