• The Dance Mistress

Making a silk Regency ballgown

I needed something to wear to the Jane Austen Ball in Louisville, KY so I decided to make an 1815, drop front, Regency ball gown.  I found blue plaid silk at the thrift store, dumped it in a kiddie pool full of red dye and ended up with this beautiful medium purple colored plaid. I got the general shape of the pieces from the Janet Arnold book and draped the muslin pieces until they fit correctly.  Matching the plaid took extra material and I was down the the very last scrap of fabric for the front panel; I was so relieved that I could make it work. Figuring out how this dress correctly fit together was really challenging! I was so fortunate to have friends who are schooled in the proper fit of Regency clothing who were able to guide me in the best way to put this gown together.  Thank you Stephanie Cote, Gretchen Jacobsen and Megan Maude Sirkin for you advice on the subject. Pictured with the historic ball guru, Jeannie Rucker and friends and fellow dancers from Atlanta.

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