A Regency Wardrobe Part 1: Undergarments
Thinking about all the work that will have to go into a full wardrobe
*SOME IMAGES IN THIS POST ARE NOT MINE. THEY ARE NOTED AND LINKED TO PINTEREST AND CREDITED WHERE APPLICABLE.*
Some odd years ago I stumbled across Historical Sewing's blog post about Building a Dream Regency Wardrobe. I knew it was something I always wanted to eventually get to. Typically, I only do an event for a few hours (we are in Texas so I have to make up an event if I want to do something local). There have been a few occasions (Janefest KY and New Orleans) when I have been in costume for more than 2-3 full days. These are the days I wish I had built more basics for myself and Monsieur C. I also want to start adding a few transitional things for Miss Z this year.
Recently, I have also been enamored with wanting to try to wear my wardrobe on the daily. I'm super blessed that Monsieur works so hard for us that I get to stay home with my daughter. That makes the idea somewhat easier to imagine. I found trying to do events with Miss Z when she was a baby was more difficult in full costume than I thought it would be, but now that she's walking I want to see if I can handle wearing it and taking care of her. How hard can it be?? haha I mean people did do it.
Just a TMI side note: I am a lady that is pretty top heavy and after pregnancy its been even worse finding support. It's like no modern bra should ever claim to be supportive. Compared to my long stays I wore all weekend recently, wearing a modern bra is like wearomg nothing every day...I am hoping that wearing extra support will be beneficial haha.
Let's sit down and talk about Historical Sewing's list. What I have, need, and what's practical for me.
I ended up having to break this post into separate posts for each section because I felt it was just too much info with pictures and my own add ins.
Shift/Chemise – 12 ----- Currently I only would say I have one...shameful I know... I've made two but after this last move I cannot for the LIFE of me find the 2nd one. I think ideally I would like to have 12 eventually. This would give me one for during the day and one for the evening if I did a weekend long event. I've decided to start making 2 a month. My one that I wear all the time is 98% hand sewn but because no one ever sees this garment the majority of new ones will be all machine sewn.... I've been a good little seamstress I just cut fabric for one today.
Take a look at this antique piece I own HERE
Long line corset (stays) - oh my gosh this is such an important thing for me. I've made probably 3 mock ups...I say mock ups because I never felt they fit just right and I'm always adjusting. I recently purchased the Redthreaded pattern and its the best fit and most comfortable but I plan to do some adjusting soon. They are a smidge big but I knew I was between sizes. https://redthreaded.com My goal is to have one professionally made. I do not consider myself a professional corset maker. I'll write a blog post when I finish the next adjustment.
MY CURRENT SETS. The first two are Laughing Moon Patterns and the third is the Redthreaded pattern that I'm really liking. I will need to make them a bit smaller in the body and add a few more bones under the bust gussets.
Picture from Redthreaded's site:
Short stays - I currently use a set made from the Sense and Sensibility patterns. I have made these up a few times as my weight has adjusted and I find that they go together quite easily. My next set (much later) will probably be from the Redthreaded pattern. Sense and Sensibility short stays and chemise (a few years ago)
ME IN MY ORIGINAL SHIFT AND SHORT STAYS IN 2010
MY CURRENT 2 different sizes altered over the years
Stockings – 12 pair --- I have a love/hate relationship with all that I have purchased. I can't ever get them to stay up. Even with ribbons..which means I really need some proper garters. I currently have 2 pair of cotton and 1 pair of silk. Id probably do 6 cotton and 6 silk for the day/evening combo
MY CURRENT STOCKINGS. Cotton on the bottom and silk on the top
Petticoats – 3 - currently I have 2. One linen that I LOVE but needs to be repleated. One Cotton made from a thicker muslin. I plan to scrap the thicker calico one completely haha (or keep it for the one week in Texas its cold). It always bunches under my dresses and sticks to my stockings. I want to make 1 more linen and I'm going to try 100% cotton Muslin for the 3rd to add a little warmth in the cooler months or climates if we travel.
Nightgowns – 2 - Current - 0 , 2 seems like a good number. I've been eyeing info on these in The Workwomen's Guide that I will probably try a variation of.
Back bustle pad - Current - 0, Should be a simple project maybe in December or January.
Caps – 4, for house wear and sleeping - Current 1, I plan to make all 4 or more. I think I would wear these often around the house and I like the pretty frilly ones for hot days. (see pic above for my only one currently with a feather piece in it for fancy day wear.
Me in my only real cap right now. The base is made from Undressing the Historical Lady's 1790-1810 pattern and I wrapped some more material to give it a little turban on top with the feathers
Chemisette – 2, plain and ruffled collar CURRENT: 1 ruffle that I like
I love these also for inspiration:
I guess its a good thing I'm going through my closet and really doing an inventory. Hoping this keeps me motivated to make more and schedule more events. I think if I am trying to wear more during the week I will want to make more.
Check out Part 2: Main Garments