The Regency era has more of a natural shape than what we usually
think of with stays and corsets. With modern undergarments, you could
try a balconette bra. That's the type that lifts and has the straps
set farther out, towards the shoulders, for a maximum square-shaped
exposure. Stays of the time started to have gores in them, more of a
The waistline is high, so it's not necessary to have a small natural
waistline. The problem, and your clients may be aware of it, is that
high-waisted gowns can make the wearer look pregnant. Most women have
a bit of stomach protrusion, unless very slim or with tight, toned abs.
There is a trick to get around that: after building the bodice, hang
the front of the skirt a bit farther forward. Don't have it right
against the midriff. If it starts a little more forward, it will
drape past the stomach and minimize any poochiness.
War of 1812
reenactment is popular these days, so do you know if
there is an active group in your area? Gadsby's Tavern Museum, in
Alexandria, Virginia (just outside DC) is having a costume symposium
in a couple of weeks. The theme is the regency era, so you would be
able to find experts who can help.
On Sep 10, 2013, at 8:54 AM, slc_fire wrote:
> Thanks Cat!
> I'm prepared (and dreading) mocking up. I'm a well endowed lady, as
> are the friends I'm making for, so I get the feeling I'm going to
> have to alter patterns to get around the assets. Am I correct in
> thinking these dresses aren't supposed to fit around and under the
> breats to an empire waist? They would have had stays to flatten the
> girls and smooth the torso but not cinching it in tiny right?
> My concern - the ladies I'm making these for insist on wearing
> their victorian corsets
to slim their waist line. I keep trying to
> tell them it won't look right.
> Where do I find a good stay pattern? I have time to make both stays
> and dresses so I'd rather they have the right undergarments or
> fashion the dresses to fit a modern bra instead of the V corsets.
> Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we
> might as well dance!
> From: Cat Devereaux <CatDevereaux@...>
> To: F-Costume@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Monday, September 9, 2013 4:42 PM
> Subject: Re: [F-Costume] regency patterns
> On 9/9/2013 8:10 AM, s wrote:
> > What is your favorite regency gown pattern? Do you build skin out
> > (including a period corset) or do you use modern undergarments?
> I've got to admit that I often cheat with Regency. You can get a
> silhouette w/ a bra and a slip made off the dress pattern w/o sleeves,
> and maybe a lower neck. It will look a bit better if you have a long
> line bra because that fixes your posture a bit.
> That said, corded corsets aren't too bad. And you may want to put a
> small pad just below the high back seam so the dress drapes down from
> there w/o sitting on da rear.
> The biggest trick w/ Regency patterns is fitting the bust. Be sure to
> muslin. Even the folkwear pattern has problems there.