Tips

Let’s Make Circle Skirts!

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Circle Skirt with Pockets

As a young teen obsessed with vintage clothing, I dearly wanted a circle skirt. I’d seen them in old magazines and thought the felt ones with appliques like poodles or the Eiffel Tower were just too cute for words. When my grandmother realized how much I loved vintage fashion, she gave me a beautiful ruffled petticoat she had made in the mid-1950s and two felted wool circle skirts she was still wearing as late as the 1970s (she kept her 23″ waist until her death by doing nightly sit-ups on a slant board!). I was 14 at the time, and the clothes were a perfect fit. I was on cloud nine. Read more…

It’s Time to Mention Unmentionables!

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Shocking!

Ladies, if you’ve ever struggled with what goes on before you put on your clothes, it’s time to fix that. If you spend the day tugging up bra straps or end the day dying to be released from bra bondage, then, reader, this post is for you. We’re doing a first on my blog: going deep into the confusing world of bra-fitting (and, yes, this will have a historical connection and repercussions for at least one of my patterns!). Read more…

Make an Apron-Front Regency Gown! (Part Two)

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Bodice and sleeve

After finishing the bodice base, it was time to make the sleeves. Because this material is so thin and delicate, I chose to make full long sleeves with short oversleeves instead of using removable under sleeves. The fantastic border of this beautiful sari fabric provided me with an instant border for the long sleeve hems and the sleeve bands of the short sleeves. Read more…

Make an Apron-Front Regency Gown! (Part One)

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Cathy Hay and Jennie Chancey in Bath, 2015

I decided last August to make a new apron-front gown, basing it upon several gowns I’ve handled in person, plus an extant garment in the National Museum of Australia that I found online with detailed photographs.

This time, I’ve used my Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern as the base, since it has no back opening to begin with and features the more fitted long sleeves I planned to use for my undersleeves and the short, puffed ballgown sleeves I’d use as the over sleeves. Read more…

Casey’s Swing Dress Sew-Along

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Finished Swing Dress with Self-Fabric Belt | Sense & Sensibility Patterns

Jennie’s Note: The lovely Casey Maura created this Sew-Along tutorial for my Swing Dress pattern in 2011. I asked her later if I could repost it in its entirety (in a single post instead of 13) on my site, and she was kind enough to send me the text with accompanying photos. Nearly four years went […] Read more…

Let’s Make Colonial Costumes for Girls!

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Girls' Colonial Dresses

Out of all the patterns I’ve designed in the past 18 years, the Girls’ 1780s Portrait Dress pattern is, hands down, my own daughters’ very favorite. I’ve made them so many dress-up dresses from this pattern in toiles and stripes and prints, and they want new ones as soon as they outgrow them! But this year, both girls asked if I could make dresses that looked more like something “Felicity” (the now retired–sigh–American Girl doll) would wear. Read more…

Making a Regency Long-Sleeved Pelisse

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Lorna

Lorna has put together a step-by-step tutorial, showing how she created a pelisse (coat) from my Regency Spencer & Pelisse pattern. It includes excellent photographs and inspiring original images and shows how easy it is to modify my pattern to reproduce an extant garment. Pop on over to Lorna’s blog for all the fun. Thanks, […] Read more…

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