Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Tale of the Regency Dress

August 2010: My mom asks if I would make her a regency-style dress for this thing she performs at with her recorder group. Event is in early October. I said yes.

September 2010: We get all the materials needed. I have two weeks to make this dress and coat.

First week of work: I get the bodice and sleeves done. This includes lining. I worked on it almost exclusively after Kaelyn went to bed.

October 2010 – a day or two before General Conference week: Mom tries on the bodice of the dress. It doesn’t fit despite my numerous measurements. Mom says it’s okay. She’ll just wear the coat over it with the dress unlaced. No one will know.

The Next Day: I wake up, dried off the tears, and went back to work. Luckily, I had extra material.

General Conference Weekend: We go to Nana & Papa’s place for the whole weekend instead of just Sunday. I hole myself up in the sewing room and leave Kaelyn to… everyone else. Luckily, there was a TV so I could still listen to conference. Kimmi and sometimes Lindey helped (there were several parts that required hand stitching). I resew the bodice the first day and Mom tries it on. I didn’t tell her that I started from scratch because she didn’t want to make me do extra work. I just couldn’t live with not doing something right. Day two was mostly sewing the skirt and attaching it to the bodice. And then adding trim.

The Final Week: I finish the dress. My dad stays the night once so we could take him to the airport and I have him attach the eyelets. I start the coat. I almost finish the coat. I really do almost finish the coat. But despite how long I worked on that thing, I couldn’t only make it to almost. Mom took the dress and was able to wear it anyway.

Fast Forward to June 2011: I tell Mom I need her dress so I can make sure to put the hem of the coat in the right place.

July 2011: I remind Mom that I need her dress so I can hem the coat.

August 2011: I may or may not have reminded Mom and also told a sibling or two that I needed her dress in order to hem the coat.

September 2011: Success! I got the dress although I didn’t realize they left it in a plastic bag so I couldn’t find it for almost a week.

The Week Before General Conference: I hem the coat and get all the hook and eyes sewn on. Mom tries it on and everything still fits well.

The Week After General Conference: I sew all the trim on. I wash the dress. I take pictures. Mom picks it up on Thursday.

I am so pleased with how it turned out! And now is the part where you get to look at too many pictures because it was quite a success and I am happy with my work.

Mom Regency2

The dress + dress with coat. Mom picked out her fabric on her own. I gave opinions on the pattern and trim. And probably the fabric too…


Mom Regency

The sleeve – I was so proud of myself for the thought I had of where to place the sleeve. You may not really be able to see it, but the bottom half has the bigger detail but further up the sleeve it is the smaller dots.

The hem – double layered prettiness.

The back – love the look of the crisscross then the bow. There are hook and eyes below that as well.

Mom Regency1

The back of the ruffle – I was supposed to use a stiffer material so it would stand upright. I’m so glad I just used the bottom of the dress material because I love how it ties in with the dress + it looks better on my mom with it down.

The front of the ruffle – It just looks good.

The sleeve – It slopes down and has a hook & eye enclosure. It almost feels like its missing something but there’s a charm in its simplicity.

The hem – Look! A mini train!


Here is a close up on the trim. We used the same trim in different colors and every single piece of it had to be hand sewn.


And last of all, here’s my mom in it! Isn’t it quite lovely on her? I’m glad she took a picture (although I may have made a mini demand to get one). The fabric and colors is so my mom. And it fits her! I love it and was so glad to be able to make something just for her that no one else has. And hey, something else gets crossed off on my list for the year. Bonus!


  1. It is a lovely dress. And the coat was great, though I didn't wear it much this year because of the fabulous 80degree weather we were having.

  2. This is the first time I've actually seen Mom in the dress. The color is awesome!

  3. Wow! Good job. I think it looks fantastic - and like a lot of work!

  4. Looks amazing!