When I was planning my gown for the Regency Society of Tennessee’s tea I found a photo from the Greene Collection at the Genesee Country Village & Museum. I fell in love and had to make it happen!
The museum website describes the gown as a ” … dress, from the same time period (1815-1820) is also entirely hand stitched icy green plain weave silk. It has a very high waist and very long tubular sleeves which would have been worn slightly ruched on the arm. The skirt is in 3 panels and slightly gathered in front and pleated in the back.
It has a Vandyked neckline of little triangular tabs in the sleeve, forming a gorgeous cap effect which is accented with little white ribbon bows.
The stitching on this dress as well as the fact that it is made of silk indicates that this would have been considered a “good” dress and would have been worn for special occasions.”
The gown was made from a beautiful mint cotton swiss that I purchased from The Lace Cottage where I take my heirloom sewing lessons and the little bows on the puffs are made of silk. The triangles that line the neckline are individually folded vandyke points and were the most challenging part of the costume.
Based on extant gowns that I have been able to study I decided that the sleeves were most likely detachable sleeves.
I would also like to say thank you to Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum for graciously allowing me to take photos on their historic site.