This breathtaking, all white Regency gown is in the collection of the wonderful Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia, which boasts one of the largest historical costume collections in the South. I photographed this during a visit in 1998 to file away. When I created the drawstring dress option in my Elegant Lady’s Closet, this was one of the gowns I had in mind, particularly when it came to the gently rounded neckline and very short sleeves.

12 comments on “White Regency Gown from the Valentine Museum”

  1. I wonder what the fabric is… some type of semi-transparent gauzey fabric, perhapps a cotton voile? Can you tell me what the dress is made of?

    • Rebecca, it is English muslin, which over here is more like voile or organdy–only lighter in weight (more like a gauze). The closest you can get to this now is Egyptian muslin, which is still sold in the UK. It’s wonderful stuff!

      • Thank you Miss Jennie,
        I am planning on making my wedding dress based on this style and have been looking at patterns. Am I right in thinking that the “Elegant Lady’s Closet” pattern would be appropriate? I am also wondering if the bodiced petticoat would be needed for under the dress and is it the same pattern as the Regency underthing pattern? 🙂

        • Oops! Sorry I missed this earlier! The Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern would work fine for this dress if you follow my tutorial to add a train. If you make a sheer gown, then, yes, you will need the full bodiced petticoat. That is not a part of the underthings pattern but can be made using either the original Regency Gown pattern or the ELC pattern (though you’ll need to take in the bodice more on the latter). The tutorial for the petticoat is online at this link. I hope this helps, and have fun making your wedding gown!

    • Hi, Karen! Unfortunately, you can’t get it in the States (at least I’ve never found it in stores or online). You can get it from MacCulloch & Wallis in the UK, but I think you have to email them with a special request. I’ve run across it here in Kenya, and I’ve entertained the notion of shipping it back to the States to sell through my site. Might do that if I see it again!

  2. “MacCulloch & Wallis in the UK, but I think you have to email them with a special request. I’ve run across it here in Kenya, and I’ve entertained the notion of shipping it back to the States to sell through my site. Might do that if I see it again!”

    Where are you on this now, Ms. Jennie. Get this, I went and purchased a whole heapa bunch of “muslin” and was ohhhhh so happy that I could afford it. I am so embarrassed as I have learned, thanks to the Forum, that it ain’t even the right stuff, grrrrrr. I have GOT to get my hand on the right stuff for my new wardrobe.

  3. K, thanks. Well, if I recall your advice to us, pima will do . . . . right? There has got to be some other type of THIN cotton that is doable next to e. muslin. I also hear handkerchief linen is the business for our purposes here.

    Bottom line, I’m determined to make over my wardrobe. As I’ve mentioned before this is going to be for day-to-day wear for me vs. a plaything/costume events. 😉

    Thanks for being a serious force on the WWW, Ms. Jennie. You’re a godsend.

  4. Well, pima is the right softness, but it isn’t sheer. If you want to mimic the look of real English (Egyptian) muslin, you should actually use voile or organdy. However, that’s not going to be practical for daily wear, as those are heirloom fabrics and fragile!

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