adjective:old fashioned, out of style, unfashionable [from French, the past participle of démoder "to go out of fashion," from mode "fashion"].

gallery: regency costumes

c. 1805 evening dress
c. 1809 spencer
c. 1810 pride & prejudice evening dress
c. 1823 evening dress

regency (c. 1805) evening dress (2000-01?)

This gown was created from a mishmash of sources. I heavily reworked Period Impressions' Regency Pattern, which is pretty much abysmal from an historical accuracy standpoint, but will work as a base. I redrafted it based on the patterns in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion (1660-1860): I shortened the back length (it is much too long), took out some of the skirt width (much too wide), and switched the sleeves for the 1805 straight sleeve from Hunnisett's Period Patterns for Stage & Screen 1800-1909.

Caroline Bingley Caroline Bingley

The fabric itself, a lucky find in the Los Angeles garment district, dictated the simple design -- which was inspired by the a morning dress worn by Caroline Bingley (on the left) in the 1995 BBC miniseries "Pride and Prejudice."

regency (c. 1809) spencer (2001?)

Made from the ubiquitous Period Impressions pattern in about one day... I had the wool left over from some pants I'd made (and abandoned mid-project) years ago.

regency (c. 1810) pride & prejudice evening dress (2003?)

A dress made for my friend Mary. She was inspired by a dress worn by Charlotte Lucas (maybe the only attractive on they put her in?) from the BBC production of Pride & Prejudice. The original seems to be made of some kind of silver and black striped fabric, with a gorgeous overskirt and great sleeves.

We made Mary's from a purpley blue satin for the underdress, with black striped organza for the overlay. It was REALLY irritating trying to make the overlay hang correctly -- since the angled edge was cut on the bias, it kept trying to stretch when I hemmed it. I finally hit on sewing narrow black twill tape to the edge to stabilize it before hemming it, which did the trick!

Since these pictures we've added some piping and trim.

late regency (c. 1823) evening dress (2001?)

This gown was made from fabric I purchased for my first go-round at a wedding dress. I had decided I wanted to be avant garde and wear a color (shocking!). Of course, I got the dress pretty much put together and decided I didn't like it -- less from the color than from the fact that it was relatively fussy and princessy (made to be worn over a crinoline) and while I can do fussy in costumes, I decided I wanted my wedding dress to be more me (which is plainer and more tailored). [The second try at a wedding dress turned out MUCH better, FYI.]

Since I had the embroidered organza which matched this dress that I had admired in Nancy Bradfield's Costume in Detail, I decided to go for it. I tried to copy the design as faithfully as possible. I used Period Impressions' Regency Pattern for the bodice (the peach layer is fitted with darts, the organza layer fitted with gathers), drafted the sleeves (WOW those were interesting, to say the least, to put together. Holy piping!) out of Hunnisett's Period Costume for Stage & Screen 1800-1909, and used the same skirt pattern that I had used for my green striped Regency ballgown. I didn't have enough length in the organza to make the overskirt ankle length, but I've seen enough dresses of this style & period to know that a below-the-knee-length is fine.

1823 Gown 1823 Gown

I think the dress turned out well... except now I think it's a bit young for me so I ended up selling it on ebay. The fussy 1820's isn't my favorite period, and the peach plus white plus embroidery is also a bit much for me.

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Last revised September 18, 2006.
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