la vie en rose . . . life through rose-coloured glasses

By my count I owe you three Regency gowns so this post makes one down, two to go!

I don’t actually recall what inspired this gown! I wanted to make something pink but that was as far as I had planned on this dress. My mom suddenly surprised me with two tickets to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath so I knew I needed two gowns very quickly. The van dyck points were actually my moms idea, although I don’t think she realized I would end up making so many!!

I started off by rounding the troops up and putting them in order. Not exactly sure why I ever thought these would be enough to go around the neckline but I did.

It became very clear to me that I would need more of these so I spent some time wrestling the fabric away from my brothers dog and once I successfully managed to explain that fabric does not = food I was able to cut more of these out. Unfortunately quite a few of these were lost when (once again) my brothers dog went fabric shopping.

I used the same trick my tutu teacher taught us last year. Don’t bother lifting the foot, keep stitching using the same thread.

After I cut them and turned them the plan was to sew an inch down each center, like so:

Same trick, one continuous thread:

. . . From here unfortunately I have no more photos to share. I was in the middle of packing to go back home and then when I got back  I had to move into a new flat and didn’t really have time to make any photos. If you do have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a question in the comments and I will get right back to you!

This is probably the best photo I have of the neck detail. I hand stitched the van dycks to a velvet trim and attached a bit of edging to make sure my pearls would tie in nicely. My mom kindly loaned me her earrings from her wedding day which were so perfect and lovely (thanks mom!).

I will confess that I have a certain fondness for long trains on my gowns!




We stayed in the Rose room at the The Lavender House.

And finally my favorite photo:


11 thoughts on “la vie en rose . . . life through rose-coloured glasses

  1. Perseverance says:

    I love it!
    I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t know what happens at a Jane Austen Festival.
    I’m also embarrassed to say that I don’t know what ladies wore under the dresses. I never realised how ‘light’ they could be! Makes travelling much easier!

    • The Ornamented Being says:

      No worries! It’s an annual festival where ladies and gentlemen from all over the world assemble in Bath. In my next, next post I’ll be talking about more of the event.

      I’ll post a photo of me lacing my stays so you’ll be able to see the undergarments a bit easier. Basically ladies wore very light undergarments. I wear a shift that stops around my thighs, over that go a pair of short stays. I hardly ever wear my long corded stays, I don’t find them comfortable or necessary for the period I re-enact. Over that I wear a strapless petticoat which is a skirt gathered onto a waistband that I pin onto my stays. It helps to decrease the bulk in the bodice. I own a petticoat that has a bodice but I rarely wear it. The gown goes on next and the lady is dressed!

      After wearing 18th century stays all summer I really do appreciate the light weight undergarments, although in winter they aren’t very helpful! I’m worried that I might need to make another petticoat of a heavier material.

      • Perseverance says:

        Thank you for the prompt reply and detailed response! So one could pack many beautiful gowns and just or at least 1 set of undergarments (shifts, petticoats, etc.) for all of them?

        Now that it’s getting chillier, that is exactly what I was thinking: what did women wear in winter? Undergarments of heavier material?

        Did your Mum dress up too? Did you make something for her to wear to the festival? I can’t wait to read all about your time at Bath! Must have been like being in one of Jane Austen’s novels!

      • The Ornamented Being says:

        Yes! That’s one of my favorite things about this period. You can pack so many light weight things. Depending on how long of an event I am going for I will either bring 1-2 sets. I confess that I do have one pair of stays simply because they are my favorite pair. They are very easy to make but I just don’t seem to have much time to make another pair.

        That is something that I would have to research a bit more before confirming but I’m sure they would have used a heavier weight for petticoats and for outer gowns although Doctors did call the sickness you caught from wearing light weight garments The Muslin Disease.

        My mum refused to allow me to make her anything! I felt like a terrible daughter but she put her foot down and said no. She wanted to go with me and not dress up ;{

        It truly was like we were back in the Regency period. It was beautiful!

      • Perseverance says:

        I wish that’s how my dresses worked. Then I wouldn’t have to part with so many every time I travel! 😛

        Do let me know when you find out (after all your research) what women wore underneath their gowns for winter. 🙂

        Oh what a pity! Why didn’t she want to dress up? It would have been quite beautiful to have mother and daughter dress up for the festival. Next time you should hide her clothes and say, ‘I’m sorry Mum, but this (the Regency gown you’ve made for her) is all we have!” 😛

        Good luck with your paper, by the way!

  2. Kathie Wilson says:

    Lyze, how tall are you? You wear clothes so well, but I think I remember your saying sometime that you’re not all that tall. Just love this gown. It shows how details and cut can make a simple Regency dress stunning. I’m looking forward to hearing the details about the others. Kathie

    • The Ornamented Being says:

      Hello Kathie!
      Thank you, I truly do love the Regency period. I take dancing classed with the Quadrille club and it really does make you feel so graceful. When we were Bath I told my mom when I was looking out the window at Bath I felt like someone was calling me home almost as if some secret part of my soul was home. In my next, next post I’m going to talk about a comment made by one of my friends who really captured Regency balls.

      I am 5’7 so I believe that converts to around 170.2 cm-ish (math is not my forte!). I love the simpler gowns, I currently have a length of white embroidered cotton in my stash and I’m planning on making it into a simple gown with clean lines. I have a pelisse cut out but I just don’t have time to piece it together yet!

  3. Kathie Wilson says:

    P.S. That bedroom! Where is it – some stately home?

    • The Ornamented Being says:

      I should have mentioned that! I stayed in The Lavender House just outside Bath. It was extremely lovely, we were in the Rose room!

  4. Jub says:

    I’m sorry to write here, I have no tumblr account to comment on The Ornament Being. I wonder if the sleeves of the last dress weren’t made to be worn or not, following the weather ? (winter or summer)

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