Aubrey’s Romantic Era Gown

By Jennie Chancey


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Hello Mrs. Chancey,

I’m Aubrey Lenz. My sister, Emily, sent you pictures of the Regency gowns she made with your Regency pattern a few years ago.

I graduated this spring, and Emily and I made a Romantic Era gown for my graduation ceremony. Emily and I followed the family tradition from our great-grandmother who had a dress shop in 1929 and made her graduation dress. :) One of our inspirations was Molly’s white ball gown in “Wives and Daughters.” You may remember we have a family relationship with a single woman who owns a fabric shop, Ginny’s Fine Fabrics, in a nearby city and that’s where Emily bought her fabric. Once again we went to Ginny’s, and she had picked out the lightest blue cotton batiste she could find ahead of time for the overdress. The underskirt is an ivory colored silk/cotton mix, and the under-sleeves are ivory-colored silk.

One of the challenges with the Romantic gown was the corset. I used the Mantua Maker pattern to make a corset. I made the chemise out of a light crinkle cotton and the corset out of three layers of cotton: a heavy cotton twill and two layers of muslin. The cotton lacing, the wooden busk, and ¼” steel white boning are from Grannd Companies in New Jersey.

To make the dress unique, I hand-embroidered the over-sleeves. We got the over-sleeve idea from one of “Molly’s” dresses and found the embroidery pattern on the Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern. From the same button collection Emily used (from our Great-Grandmother’s dress shop), I found antique glass buttons and we mixed and matched. :) We wanted many tight little gathers in the front neckline, similar to Molly’s ball-gown, so we ended up revising the bodice after the pictures and raising the waistline ever-so-slightly as well, since I have a shorter waist.

Thank you again for making patterns of historic clothing! We enjoy them so much! Your patterns are truly a delight to work with. Our next project is a modified version of the Regency Spencer Jacket for all three of us (Mama, Emily, and me).

Blessings,
Aubrey L.

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This is a picture of Emily and me with our four brothers, who graciously agreed to pose with us.
(All thumbnails can be clicked for larger images.)

Isn’t this breath-taking? Emily and Aubrey both really have an eye for texture, color, and drape. This is one amazing graduation dress, and I love all the details like great-grandmother’s buttons and the embroidery. Wonderful work!

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8 Comments on Aubrey’s Romantic Era Gown

  1. Emily
    February 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm (6 years ago)

    So lovely! I’ve always loved that Wives and Daughters dress.

    Reply
  2. Shelli Bennett
    February 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm (6 years ago)

    Really lovely gown! I love the family picture too. :)

    Reply
  3. Melanie A.
    February 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm (5 years ago)

    That is absolutely adorable, Aubrey. You did a wonderful job. I hope, after I make a regency dress, to make a Wives and Daughters dress too. They’re so beautiful! :-)

    Reply
  4. Jo March
    March 2, 2009 at 8:42 pm (5 years ago)

    What a lovely dress! It is very similar to what I had pictured for my graduation dress. But I couldn’t come up with a pattern to use! The Romantic era dress pattern hadn’t occurred to me. Thanks for sharing! I hope to have a graduation gown half as beautiful.
    God bless,
    Jo

    Reply
  5. Jo March
    March 2, 2009 at 8:44 pm (5 years ago)

    P.S. After looking again at the pattern, your dress looks different. May I ask what changes you made?

    Reply
  6. Mary-Rose
    June 8, 2009 at 5:03 am (5 years ago)

    If there were All-Stars, this would be one.

    Reply
  7. DollyMae
    June 22, 2010 at 2:48 am (4 years ago)

    This is heavenly and such lovely pictures too.

    Reply
  8. Elaine
    August 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Beautiful; modest and practical. I love it.

    Reply

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