Once I started making Regency clothes, I couldn’t stop. I made my white gown in the summer of 2017. Several prints show a white gown and green spencer. I liked the stark color contrast and I think I look good in jewel tones. I also wanted an all around Regency spencer that could work from the 1790s – 1819.
Whenever I make a new item, I go round and round about the tiny details. I’m not one for trying new trims and bits and bobs when I have not made this type of garment before because I’m too worried about messing something up. And I just love ALL the trim / details so I can never make up my mind. I always debate: do I reproduce it exactly from that fashion plate or do I combine a whole bunch of styles?! And round and round I go and then the item isn’t done on time.
I had started this spencer when I made the gown and open robe. I thought I would get three things done in time for the event in 2017, never having made any of these items and not having a pattern for them. I think these three pieces catapulted me into the world of “frankenpatterning” as it is known in this hobby. Okay, to be fair, I had already made one spencer, so I used that pattern as my base and then just altered the front so it could be a double-breasted style. During the time that this spencer sat in the UFO basket, I made two men’s waistcoats that ended up actually teaching me how to improve some of the sewing techniques on my spencer.
In the above photo, I’m wearing my Kitty Calash Checked Linen Bonnet. Never have I loved an accessory so much!! I purchased it for a July event out East this summer and since then, I love wearing it. Although she advertises it as 1770s, it is the closest thing I have to a Regency era bonnet.
In the pic below, of course I had to wear my straw bonnet to see how it looked with the spencer. I can’t decide which hat I like better.
My main reason for making this spencer was to keep me warm at events — even in the summer! I get so dang cold so easily. I found that, although it is made out of cotton, it kept me warm in the evening and on a cool November day.
So many of the fashion plates and originals had a little koofka pleated tail on the back. I had to have that detail! This was probably the most futzy / tedious part of this project. I wasn’t sure of the shape or how best to attach it; therefore, it was a lot of trial and error. For a first go at it, I’m satisfied.
While it fits me pretty well overall, when I make this again, I’m going to resize the center back piece. It requires that pleat and I wish I had made the pleat go the other way instead of having that part poke out.
The ribbon is black silk from Wm Booth Draper. I’m really glad I went with this option because I enjoy the simplicity of it. I am debating about covering buttons in black velvet. I think it would be a good addition, but I also like the ability to adjust it as needed so straight pins it is for now!
Yep — those are my matching (not intentionally) Mansfield Boots from American Duchess. This whole outfit makes me feel so elegant!!