This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

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HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Red Regency pelisse and gown

Started Jan 2010,finished Mar 2010.
With the pressure of an upcoming Regency event in March and nothing to wear, I drew on some previously fitted patterns from LaMode Bagatelle for my gown.

I already had a partially sewn bodiced petticoat from this pattern and finished that, adding a double rows of ruffles to the hem. By tightening the ribbons in the back at the neckline and bustline, I was able to get a nice tight lift to my bust. The drawback is no corseting the midriff so you have to suck that in yourself. I have a proper set of Regency stays but I’m going to be on my own putting this on, so I needed something that I might be able to get in and out of myself, even if only part way.

For the gown I had a sheer white cotton striped voile purchased in the Garment District. For the pelisse, I found a red striped polyester at JoAnn’s that looked like linen and was lightweight.

When I started on the gown I decided to reuse the pattern for the bodiced petticoat, and added 2 inches to the bodice neckline to raise it above the petticoat's neckline. I also used ribbons in a drawstring along the neckline and bustline to close it in the back. I wanted quarter length sleeves on it, so I used a sleeve from one of the other pattern views. I’ve considered adding some crocheted lace along the neckline but later decided to leave it plain. I used a blind hem stitch on my sewing machine for both the hem and the sleeve hems. I’m only able to minimally adjust the bustline on my dressform so it doesn’t exactly look right in the photos.

For the pelisse, I again used a pattern I’d had success with in the past, Butterick 4890. I used the same sleeve from the white gown for the pelisse.

It went together very quickly. I only lined with top with a white cotton, which later I realized red might have been better but it worked. The white shows a little where it closes in the front but it’s not bad. I sewed the bodice and lining right sides together, and left it open at the bottom and armholes to turn it right side out. This pattern doesn’t actually close in the front under the bustline like I wanted so I added an extension. But if I do it again, I’ll make the extension wider. This is just shown over my chemise on my dressform.

The back looks really pretty but it has modern darts in it, not the curved ones true Regency patterns have. But for this short time I have, this one will suffice and it looks really nice.
I marked the hem about 10 inches shorter than my gown, according to some photos I saw, and again used a blind hem stitch on the hem but hand tacked along the front edges of the robe. I used two sets of hooks and bars on the overlap to close it. This is pulled tightly to “lock and load” the bust.
Since I’m planning on dressing as a well-to-do lady, I decided I didn’t want the pelisse to be too plain so I covered two large buttons and sewed them on each side of the front overlap.

Here you can also see the turban with it, as shown in my previous post. Since it’s predicted to be only 65degrees that day, and along the waterfront in San Diego, I pulled out my large, dark fake fur muff to go with it. It’s got lots of room inside to hide my camera too.
Stay tuned for photos of this after Sunday.


  1. Love it! I like this era of costumes, this and the 1920's are my favorites.

  2. Good job! I'm also love the regency-era, because I'm look well without corset, and I can eat more than when I'm laced:)


I would love to hear if this was any help to you. Pretty please!