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When I’m not up to my eyeballs in grading papers, I’m usually dreaming/planning my next sewing project. So far, I have three I really want to make.

1. 18th cent jacket

2. Early 1800 morning/day dress

3. Regency half-stays

The fourth and fifth are not as top priority:

4. 18th cent bedgown

5. Regency half-robe

1. Last March I participated in a two day workshop where I and a bunch of other ambitious ladies sewed a historically accurate round gown by hand over two days. It was the highlight of my year and turned me on to hand sewing. You can see my dress on my sewing projects page – it’s the rose worsted wool one. Anyway, after constructing the bodice of that gown, I figured, hey I have this pattern for a jacket. I like jackets. How hard can it be? I also like the way the bodice looks when it is pinned closed. I’m not truly ready for making my own eyelets and sewing little tiny stitches around the holes just so I can lace up my gown front. Plus, if my size changes, it’s easier to re-adjust and just pin in place! This pattern also comes with a stomacher and I’ve decided to make mine reversible. I’ve had all my fabric purchased for at least three years, but other projects have jumped in my way.

2. I’ve made the Regency Day Dress using Reconstructing History’s pattern. Their first pattern was decent, but did not have enough pictures. Somehow, even though at the time I was not an accomplished seamstress (nor am I there now, but I will be soon!) I had difficulty putting in the sleeves. Then, last year at Military History Fest I talked to them at their booth and they gave me the new updated pattern for free!!! That’s my kind of business. I reread the pattern and the way the dress closes is completely different. You can see my first dress on my completed sewing projects page – it’s the sky blue dress. But now I want to make this dress again and again each time with different decorations – trim, embroidery, fabrics – just for the sake of having a larger wardrobe.

3. I don’t have any Regency stays. I normally just wear a regular bra and then the way my dress closes at the bust kind of keeps everything up and in place. It does its job. But to be truly authentic I NEED stays. I desperately want them. I figure, I already own 1880s and 1890s corsets, 18th century stays, so why not add another era? Yes!! I I kind of like the ones I linked at the top. I’d prefer to have a pattern. I’m just super small under bust so I need to custom make it. This is all in preparation for the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. This is the next sister European excursion. My sister has kindly agreed to go with me even though she does not reeanct, but I think I’ve convinced her that she needs a dress to pick up hot reenactor guys.

4. Last year, I randomly found this pattern with instructions for making a bedgown, a loose fitting garment like our modern day bathrobes, and I took some left over muslin and started to lay it out on the living room floor (much to my husband’s dismay. Ha. Sorry dear). I cut out my fabric, pinned my back pleats in place and then never finished it because, oh gee, more projects (like a waistcoat for the husband) took priority. But as any reenactor knows, wearing stays and three layers in summer heat is tiring by the time the public disperses and dinner is laid out. You just want to peel the sweaty layers off. Alas, as I’m not the camp harlot, I can’t really go around in just my shift. Soooo not appropriate. Therefore, I just want to throw on a comfy shirt, so bedgown it is. I know lots of people have whipped these up in a weekend. No prob. I got this.

5. To continue building my Regency wardrobe, I want a half-robe just to add variety. Don’t really need it yet. But it’s a cute style. Also, it would be something in my wardrobe for when I go to Waterloo.

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