My sister and I just finished our first Regency dresses this week, and thought we’d share. Mine (the red one) was made using Jennie Chancey’s original pattern. The only change I made was to gather all the way across the front of the bodice, for a ‘fan’ effect. I also made some piping to edge the neckline. We also raised the necklines on both dresses, cutting the curve 2-3 sizes bigger. My sister’s dress is View A of of the Simplicity version of Mrs. Chancey’s design. We spent less than $20 total for chemises, stays, and dresses. All of the fabric (excepting the stay interfacing) was $1 sheets from a Goodwill dollar days sale! Our only other expenses were the boning and cord for the stays. We used buttons/thread/lace, etc. that we already had. So be encouraged: you really can make a nice dress without spending a fortune! One twin-size sheet is enough for a size 10 dress(but just barely–as you can see, mine was a bit short!). ~ Kara A.
These are my favorite kinds of stories–using sheets, curtains, or bargain materials to create beautiful gowns! I made my first “sheet dress” as a teenager and was so proud of my bargain fabric. These are truly wonderful.