The making of my first Little Darling Regency Dress…

“Whatcha doing with that blue fabric?”


“Putting it in the scrap drawer…it’s too small to do anything with.”

“I think there’s enough for a dress…”


“No, I don’t think so…”

“I look pretty good in blue… I have blue eyes, you know…”


“Okay, we’ll see…”

Sometimes my girls are pretty determined to get on my cutting table and see if they can help me figure out what “they” can model! Janie was the strong willed one this week. Here’s what happened after that first conversation with me…

We decided to give it a try and see if a dress could be made from those scraps. I decided to save the skirt for last and if need be, I could make it a one layer dress and have it on the shorter side. It turned out, I had one extra scrap already in the drawer which was enough for the small pieces like the sleeves and the bodice. I got started with the cutting and Janie was anxious for her first fitting…



As I was working on the sleeves I had to take a picture of just how tiny they are when they are gathered up. I was thinking back a L-O-N-G time ago when I used to do sewing for people. This one lady wanted me to show her how to set in sleeves because she “just couldn’t get them to go in right!” As I looked at these tiny little sleeves, I thought to myself, “Maxine would NEVER believe that these could be set in a dress!”




…and in!


Next came trying to figure out how to make the skirt. I wanted 2 layers but didn’t want any extra bulk at the waist. I did a little draping and playing around and then added my lace onto the bottom layer.



…then played around with the top layer…


You can see the bottom layer has that extra band at the top to keep it from being so “gathered” at the waist. I dropped it down a bit and then just had a much smaller amount to gather up. But actually this picture doesn’t show what happened next. I had to take that band off because it wasn’t long enough…


See, the dress wasn’t full enough to suit me, so off it came…


When I finally got the bottom part of the dress working, I added the Swiss Embroidery to the bodice and then attached them together.



Here’s the inside underskirt view…


…and the back of the dress…



Next there was making and embellishing the bonnet, making the slip and putting the final touches on everything to make it “just right!”
I think the slip is fun…I had these tiny little pink flowers and I put them inside the tulle so they just sort of float around in there…



The bonnet is very pretty! It’s definitely a “girly girl bonnet” and Janie is very pleased! I made it so it just goes under her chin and then snaps at the side… with a pre-tied bow in place.




So how about a few shots of the finished dress set?





So, that’s how I made my first Little Darlings Regency Dress… Hope it was fun for you. It took me three days to get it done, but I finally got it listed on Ebay this evening. I’ll change my right sidebar “current auction” picture as soon as my Black and Silver American Girl Regency dress ends this evening. In the meantime, you can click on the Ebay icon at the right sidebar and it will take you to my listings.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Beautiful dress, Jeanne! Janie makes a very sweet Regency era girl. I love all of your step-by-step pictures. It’s always fun to see works in progress. Good luck with your auction.

  2. Thank you Cindy,
    It’s funny that I never did a Regency dress for these little ones before. Don’t know what I was waiting on… Janie does make a sweet little model.
    Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Perfect, Jeanne! And, as your model said, she looks very good in blue!

  4. Linda Doyle says:

    This was a very interesting blog, Jeanne. I loved how you got the whole outfit put together and figured along the way, what you were going to do. May I ask, how do YOU define the style “Regency”? About all I can make out, is just the high waistline,and of course a long skirt, but is there anything else that makes a dress a Regency dress?

  5. Hi Linda,
    It’s funny you should ask what makes a Regency Dress a Regency dress. When I got part way finished with this dress, I took it to my hubby and said, “what time period do you think this dress looks like it belongs in?” His answer… maybe the 1940’s! BONK… nope, sorry hun…wrong this time.
    The Regency period used very soft flowing fabrics, drapey and fluid, and many times in pastels. The dresses were made of very sheer fabrics and a chemise was usually worn underneath because of the sheerness. The skirt part was generally straight in the front and slightly gathered on the sides and back, which allowed ladies to walk easier in them. The dresses were mostly long but if not, they did have pantalettes that showed underneath the skirt. Most of the dresses had short capped sleeved, or they were worn with a spencer (jacket). The necklines were either rounded or square and generally low cut. If very low cut a fichu was worn next to the skin. The waistline was raised up a bit, almost under the bust on almost all of them. The decorations were generally kept on the bodice part. If the dress was made from a fancy lace it was showcased at the hem of the dress, but most often, the dresses were left plain at the bottom.
    Bonnets were generally done with lots of lace and ruffles, and bows were big tied under the chins. Beading was a way of accenting discreetly and adding color without overpowering.
    Just a little bit…but hope it helps.
    Blessings, Jeanne

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