Emily’s Regency Graduation Dress

By Jennie Chancey



(This image copyright Graham Photography 2005)

This young lady made her Regency graduation dress with overdress. The two photos on the far right in the center row show the underdress; the rest include the overdress with ribbon trim. The three pictures on the third row show the detailing of the underdress. Stunning ensemble!

I ordered your Regency Dress Pattern over a year ago to make a graduation dress. I got the graduation dress idea from my great-grandmother, who made a dress for herself for her graduation in 1913! The sewing bug runs in the family. :) Last year my family met a wonderful lady, Ginny Smith, who owns a local fabric/seamstress shop. She has a good eye and shops for her own fabrics, often imported from all over the world! Walking through her store is like taking a walk through a sewer’s fairyland. When I walked into her shop with the pattern, all I had to do was show her the picture on the front of the package and she was bustling around pulling out bolts and saying ‘I have just the thing.’ The first thing she showed me was ‘just the thing.’ It is a light silk with a feather pattern worked into it…I can’t remember exactly what she called it, but since I wanted something that was formal and white without looking too much like a wedding dress, it worked perfectly. I also reversed the fabric to make it just a bit more casual. Ginny provided beautiful trim.

After I graduated, my cousins saw the pictures of the dress and wanted me to make a dress for a friend of theirs, Katy. They wanted an overdress of lace, so I went to Ginny again, and she helped me fashion a beautiful dress of an off-white batiste with an overdress of beautiful lace that can be worn four different ways, pictured below! We made the lining of cotton from Switzerland. It feels like cool soft silk. Thank you for providing wonderful patterns for creating historical clothing! The only picture that Mamma did not take was this one (seated in sun) – Image copyright Graham Photography 2005. The bodice and the skirt of the overdress both have drawstrings that I cut long so they would act as streamers falling nearly to the hem. After the dress was made, I realized that the under dress was rather plain without trim, so I used cream ribbon about twice as narrow as the reversible ribbon for tiny bows on the sleeves and neckline. The buttons I used are from a large collection I inherited from my grandmother. They are tiny diamonds. :) ~ Emily L.

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