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This is my original Regency gown pattern, modeled after the styles of the middle Regency and particularly appropriate for 1810s impressions. If you’re new to this time period, this is the pattern I recommend starting with, as it goes together very easily.

  • Sizes 6-18 all included in one ePattern.
  • Illustrated instructions make construction easy!
  • Options for long sleeves, short sleeves, undersleeves and wide or narrow skirt.
  • Pattern supplement available for ladies sized 18-26 D and DD. (Order at the bottom of this page.)
  • Download the Regency Gown Pattern’s yardage chart.
  • Photo Instructions online and in PDF formatΒ for download!
  • Bonus photo tutorial to make a bodiced petticoat from this pattern.
  • Available for instant download!
  • This pattern is rated intermediate, but I’ve had beginners make gowns with minimal assistance from an older seamstress. Still a bit intimidated? Why not enroll in my online class?

To see how you can easily alter this pattern to include a train, overskirt, nursing access, and other details, visit my Sewing Tips section. The pattern and the supplement are both rated β€œintermediate”, but I have had many beginners complete a gown with a minimum of help. Important: If you measure for a size between 20-26 or have a DD cup size, you will need the 18-26DD supplement in addition to the full pattern. It is available for $6.95 or as an ePattern in PDF format. Note: If you purchased a copy of this pattern prior to March 30, 2006, click HERE for corrections/revisions.

(Looking for the paper version rather than the ePattern? Purchase from one of our many retailers worldwide!)

Regency Gown Supplement If you measure between an 18-26 or a DD cup, you’ll need this supplement in addition to the original Regency Gown pattern. This takes the pattern up from size 18 through 26, since it was not possible to fit all the extra pieces onto the two sheets in the original pattern. Available in paper format for $6.95 or as an ePattern (instant download) for $2.95. Click to view the Regency Gown Pattern Supplement yardage chart. Note: If you purchased a copy of this supplement prior to July 2009, click HERE for corrections.

199 comments on “Regency Gown Pattern”

  1. I’m an adult size 0 – 2 and I can’t find any patterns for my size. πŸ™ Jane Austen Festival is only a few months away! Do I have any options?

    • Hi, Rachel!

      Pattern sizes are not the same as off-the-rack sizes! A 0-2 in store sizes is more like a 6 or 8 in pattern sizes. Always go by actual measurements rather than “size” when choosing a pattern. All of my patterns have downloadable PDF yardage charts with the measurements on them, so just click to check! If you find that the smallest size is still too large, check my tutorial for How to Resize a Pattern!


    • Hi, Desiree! The neckline hits everyone differently. It is four fingers below the collar bone on me. If you have a high bust point, it will look lower, but you can adjust the neckline curve to hit exactly where you want it to. Or use the Neckline Supplement for an entirely different look! πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, love this too! My favorite dress/pattern is the first one — I totally love the white, the rose in her hair, the hairstyle itself — everything! Can’t wait to see more of your brilliant work! πŸ™‚

  3. I am a 38D (but I have a small waist and hips), so will I have to buy the supplement? I was confused, because it seemed as if the supplement was for DD and up- is that correct?

    • Hi, Alexandra!

      The regular pattern goes up to a D cup, so you do not need the supplement unless you measure over a size 18. Just remember to go by the measurements and not by “size,” as patterns sizes are not the same as off-the-rack clothing. πŸ™‚ Have fun sewing!

    • Actually, there are Regency gowns in all colors in museum collections–apple green, scarlet, fuschia, royal blue, bright yellow, chocolate brown, and so many prints and stripes to boot! To see reproduction fabrics from this period, go to Keep in mind that some colors were more age-appropriate than others…and some were used for half-mourning. If you’d like details, let me know!

      • Ooh, I like the reproduction fabrics site. Thank you!
        I am curious about the use of different colors. I am thinking about making myself a ball gown for the We Make History Pride and Prejudice ball, and I want to use an appropriate color, while considering what looks good on me and my price range. πŸ™‚ I’m happy that I have more to choose from than white and very light colors!

        • It’s a great site, isn’t it? I love all the beautiful prints. Keep in mind that a ballgown would have been of fancier fabric than cotton, though — you want to look for silk, silk taffeta, voile, or organdy. The latter two are sheer and would go over a full bodiced petticoat. There are lots of kinds of voile available, including striped and dotted, so there are many lovely choices out there!

  4. Hello,

    I was wondering whether you recommend washing the fabric first to shrink it? I am a bit concerned as my “main” fabric is supposed to shrink with 5% and the fabric I am going to use for lining is supposed to shrink with 2% and I don’t want the gown to turn out differently “sized” on the inside and the outside.

    • Hello! Yes, always pre-shrink washable fabric, then iron before cutting out your garment. Some fabric will shrink a whole lot, so you want to get that out of the way before making your gown. Thanks for asking!

  5. Hello, πŸ™‚
    I’d like to buy such a pattern in 12…so what do I have to do? Click on ‘Buy EPattern’ ?

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  7. ok I’m totally confused I am needing to make a dress for a nutcracker costume so a ball gown but Nutcracker was written in 1891 and wikipedia said regency was the style at that time but the reproduction page says 1775 to 1825 do you have a pattern that would be more period appropriate?

    • Hi, Jessica! This ballet is usually staged with Regency costumes, as that was the time setting given by the original composer. However, I have seen it staged in Victorian and Edwardian costumes as well, so it really depends upon the director’s discretion. If you’re just going to attend a Nutcracker-themed ball, the Regency Gown pattern will be perfect. Hope this helps!

    • Hi, Amanda! It’s not chiffon–it’s actually English muslin, which is a very gauzy fabric. You can use voile or organdy if you aren’t able to get English muslin (also called Egyptian muslin). Hope this helps!

  8. Do you know where I could buy this sort of gown? Because I really can’t do it myself. Or a good place where I can buy it online, cheap and so that I can order it to Sweden aswell.
    Thank you!

  9. Hi Jennie,
    I’m thinking of getting your pattern to make my next Regency frock. I want it to be in the later 1810s style with the flat fronted bodice. Would your pattern enable me to do that? If not what would you recommend?
    Thank you very much,

  10. Hello! I seem have a fairly small sized upper body but I’m a bit broader around the hips. So size 10 or 12 at the top and size 14 at the lower part. I reckon the bodice will need adjustments but I want to make it as simple as possible. Do you think it could work to make the bodice in a smaller size than the skirt? Can I make them fit fairly well together (after all there are those wrinkles anyway) or will it mess up the entire pattern if I do it that way?

    I’m just about to cut but would be grateful to get some advice before I ruin the fabric…

  11. Hello!
    I am excited about making my first Regency gown for my junior piano recital… but I’m a bit confused. Do you need to make all of the underpinnings to go under this gown, or will it work with modern undergarments?
    Thanks for your help… I know that you’ve probably answered this question millions of time before, I just can’t find the answer. πŸ™‚

    • Lydia, this dress has a longer bodice and will work over modern undies. The Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern is the one that requires period underpinnings. πŸ™‚ Have fun sewing!

  12. the next to last photo under the ladies regency dress pattern features 3 ladies…the one in the middle has a blue over garment on over the dress…what is this and do you have the pattern for this also.
    p.s. I have made the regency dress in little girl size and several in the 18″ doll size and I LOVE them.

  13. I just found your site–LOVE it! I’m so excited to get the regency pattern and get started. I adore the fabric on the pictured white gown–it is exactly what I’m looking for. Is it a type of fabric I could obtain just at a regular fabric store, or is it a specialty that I’d have to go online for? What is it? It looks softer/finer/gauzier than what I’ve seen in general at the fabric/craft stores out here in the western u.s.

    • Hi, Megan! The fabric used for the white gown was actually just lightweight muslin (European calico). The closest you can get to it in the States is pima cotton, which is available at most fabric stores. If you want a really gauzy, light gown that needs a lining to avoid being see-through, go for voile or organdy. Hope this helps!

  14. Hi
    very beautiful modest dresses! Good job! The Regency is my favorite!
    Do you have more skirts patterns?
    Thank you
    Andreea (Romania)
    PS I wore the nice wedding dress that you modify for my sister in law, Anna Kinsey! Very beautiful, thank you

  15. Hi, I found your love pattern and a friend of mine wants me to make her a regency dress. I noticed your measurements for waist and hips are a bit smaller..her measurements are 49″ bust, 51 waist and 53 Hips. Im not a beginner sewer but not a professional. Do you think the size 26 be easy to modify for her measurements? Thanks,

  16. The yardage chart on the supplement tells you how much you need for a 26. Add one full skirt length (empire waist to hem plus seam allowance) to that total, and you’ll be set! Warmly, Jennie

  17. Hello, Kelsie-Anne! The neckline hits everyone differently, as it depends entirely on your bust point (distance from shoulder to mid-bust). I have instructions on changing the neckline at, or you can purchase the Regency Gown Neckline Supplement, which offers even more options, at Hope this helps!

  18. Hello There,
    just wondering whether this pattern allows you can make the neck line a bit higher I’m just not sure weather it would be to low for me.

    Thanks so much, beautiful dresses btw. πŸ™‚

    Many blessings,

  19. Hi Jenny,
    Just a quick question – is there a height restriction on the pattern? In other words, would someone who is taller need more fabric, or need to adjust the pattern to fit their height appropriately?

    Thank you πŸ™‚

    • Hi, Serena! If you are over 5′ 6″, just add yardage for the desired hem length. If you need four more inches total to the hem, add eight inches to the yardage requirements (four inches each for skirt front and back). Hope this helps!

  20. I have a slightly different take on the “underpinning for the original Regency gown” question. How does the Regency dress look over the short stays? Should any alteration to the bodice be made? I know you can wear modern underclothes with that pattern, but good lift is still important to the period look and I hate underwire. I’m a 44D. Thanks!

    • Hi, Nina! The short stays will work fine, and because you are a D cup, you will not need to shorten the bodice. Just be sure to make a muslin to try on over your completed stays so you can check length and neckline depth, and you’ll be set!

  21. I saw this a bit too late (already bought my fabric), but fortunately I was able to lay the pieces in such a way as to allow for extra length. If you reprint this pattern in the future, I think it’d be a great idea to state prominently somewhere that people over 5’6″ need extra inches of fabric. Or maybe you could put it right on your online yardage pdf. Overall, thanks for the great pattern. I’m finishing my dress now!

    • Thanks for the comment, Jean! I had thought that notation was already on the yardage chart, but I am going to add it when we do our next reprint! Glad you were able to get the needed length! Cheers, Jennie

  22. Hi, I live in the U.K and I’m planning a regency costume party for my 40th (sorry, 39th recurring!)birthday next year.. Do you ship patterns to the U.K? lucky for me mum was a dressmaker and still does alterations. Thankyou

    • Hi, Judi! We ship anywhere in the world that the postal service goes. If you add the pattern to your shopping cart, it will ask you where you want to ship and give you the exact postage amount for the UK. Alternatively, you can order from one of our UK retailers and not pay for air mail shipping! See my Retailers page to find a local dealer in the UK. πŸ™‚

  23. Hi there! I want to make up a Regency gown using your pattern – it looks gorgeous – but I’m a little confused by the sizing.

    I’m in the UK, and I’m a 34F bra size. Would I need to alter the pattern and/or buy the supplement to make it work, as you say it only goes up to a D.

    I’d like to know before I go out and buy the fabric as it will reduce the potential for messing up.

  24. Wanted to say that I love this style of dress.

    I’m a beginner dressmaker – I’ve made a couple of easy sew skirts and was wondering if you would recommend this pattern for someone who is learning to make their own clothes?

    • Hi, Cindy! If you have already made skirts, you are ready to move up to the Regency Gown. I have a class if you need in-depth help on the more advanced sewing terms, but I’ve had so many beginners make dresses with no trouble using this pattern. And I am happy to help via email if you get stuck! πŸ™‚

  25. I have seen a pattern in the Butterick book that recommends satin for the dress. What do you think of this? Do you think it would crumple? I am attending the JASNA convention in New York this year and want to make a dress. I like your Regency pattern also.

    • Hi, Helen! Modern satin is not at all like what was called “satin” in the Regency time period. Unless you used a really heavy bridal satin (which would be too heavy for the time period), it would wrinkle and crumple, just as you thought. Better to stick with real silk (available without breaking the bank at Silk Baron) or sheers like voile and organdy (which resemble the “muslin” of the period). I hope this helps!

  26. Hi Jennie,
    I’ve been admiring all your patterns the last couple days and I have fallen in love with them! I’t’s very difficult to find such lovely feminine clothes these days that are tasteful, beautiful and modest at the same time. So thank you for these patterns!
    I was looking through my pattern collection and came across one i had picked up at walmart but never used and it struck me that it looks VERY similar to the regency gown. And then I looked closer and discovered it had your emblem on it! (“Sense and sensibility patterns”) Its a simplicity costume pattern #4055. Is there anyway you could tell me what gown this is? If you could tell me if there is a difference between yours and my simplicity one, that would be awesome! Thank you again,

  27. Jennie,

    First I must say I love your site. I loved finding the Regency Gown Pattern, and reading all the comments. As I do my research before purchasing the pattern – and fabric, I would like to ask what fabric would be best for lining the gown. I have visions of something very elaborate and am a bit nervous about this so want to get all questions sorted before beginning.
    Thank you.

    • Hi, Annie! I am so glad you’ve enjoyed the site. It is a total joy to run! Now for lining: If you’re going to make something out of really gorgeous fabric like silk or organdy, I recommend using Pima cotton, which is lightweight and so soft. It’s sturdy enough to line beautifully, but it’s also comfortable to wear. If you plan to make a day dress for lots of wear, I’d go with bleached muslin, as it’s thicker and stronger. 100% cotton is your best bet in any case, as it is much more comfortable and won’t cause perspiration like typical poly lining fabric does. Also purchase a yard of inexpensive muslin to use for your test bodice (the “toile”). You can check out the fit as directed in the instructions without worrying that you’re wasting good material. I hope this helps, and have fun sewing!

  28. I am about to attach the sleeves to the bodice. Should I sew through the bodice lining layer too? This will leave a rough edge. Alternatively, I could attach the sleeve to only the main bodice piece, leaving the bodice lining loose and then hand sew the lining over the sleeve seam. Do you recommend this?

    • Hi, Judy! The most common finishing technique I’ve seen for this time period is just overcasting the raw seam, but I have also seen bound armholes (using self-fabric bias binding). I’ve never seen a period gown that used lining to finish the armscye. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t done–just that I’ve never seen it! Hope this helps!

  29. Hi! I had a few questions about fabric selection. I want to make the dress period-correct because I am sewing it as a history project, so I want to make sure I don’t pick something that was totally foreign back then. πŸ™‚

    I was looking at the website you recommended for Regency reproduction fabrics, and it looks to me like most of the patterns are very large print floral designs. I would like to make a cotton day dress and I found a coffee/camel colored calico with a very small burgundy rose print on it. Did they use calicos like that back then?

    Also, I’ve been looking online and in books at photographs of original dresses and most of the ones I can find from the era use solid colored fabrics… is it true that patterned fabric was not commonly used?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Hello, Molly! Small “roller” prints were actually used quite a lot from 1810 on. The technology got better, so it became less expensive to produce the printed cottons. Before that, they were imported from India and were block-printed by hand. So, yes, you can use the smaller cotton prints on for an 1810s gown. There were a lot of gowns in solid colors, too, but you do find small prints for day gowns and work dresses. Hope this helps!

  30. Hello Mrs Chancey,
    You have made me a very contented lady indeed as I have a final degree show coming up in 8 weeks and your regency dress pattern is going to be in my final degree show!!!!! Will send picture. Thank-you very much.
    Miss D Ahmed

  31. Hi Mrs. Chancey,
    Thank you so much for your advice! It was very helpful – you answered my question exactly. πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to getting started!

  32. I am making the Regency dress button in the front, instead of the back, and I have a question. I know that I do not cut the placket in the back skirts, but do I have to add extra material on the front skirt, in order to allow space for the placket?

  33. Is it possible to make this nursing friendly? I’ve had no luck trying to find modest, feminine nursing dresses. This dress is so beautiful that I’d love to give it a try!!


  34. Hi,
    I had the same question, the”placket” not packet is shown on the pattern layout but there is no pattern piece for the placket in the kit. I found out that the placket is the extra piece of fabric that strengthens re-enforces the opening on the skirt (in this case) or any opening on a piece of clothing – like interfacing I think.


    • Hi, Barb! You actually do not need a pattern piece to make a placket. The instructions say, “To make a placket for the center back skirt opening, cut a piece of fabric on the bias twice as long as the back opening and two inches wide.” After you cut the slit in the center back, you cut a placket to match as instructed and go from there. The placket should be cut of your fashion material–not of interfacing. Hope this helps!

  35. I just purchased the Regency dress pattern. I realized my husband won’t be home to help me button up the back. Can you put these on over your head, already buttoned up? Or, I suppose I can sew the buttons on, and make a Velcro closure?? Suggestions?

    • Hi, Cynthia! If you are not very broad through the shoulders, you absolutely can slip a buttoned gown over your head. Takes a bit of wriggling, but it can be done. πŸ˜‰ If you want a truly slip-on dress, though, I recommend the drawstring option from my Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern, which slips over the head and ties with drawstrings for a perfect fit. Hope this helps!

  36. Hello Jennie,

    I have the Simplicity S&S pattern. How does it differ from the one here? Not wanting duplicate patterns when I could be purchasing a different one from your collection.



  37. I used to order it online from, which is based in Canada (be sure to check the exchange rate!). Not sure if they still have it, but it’s worth checking. Other than that, check your yellow pages for heirloom sewing shops, as those usually stock pima and batiste. Hope this helps!

  38. It is just fabulous !!! I have watched “Pride and Prejudice” tonight on Arte (I am in Paris, France) and dreamt of making myself a Jane Austen dress for my son’s wedding which is taking place on September 1st, and I discovered your site. What a pleasure. I just have to figure out what is an e-pattern and the material I need in meters, not in yards (do not have the faintest idea of the lenght of an inch or a yard). Thanks any way.

    • So glad you’ve enjoyed my site! One meter is 39 inches, and a yard is 36 inches–so just a three-inch difference. If you just go ahead and buy in meters, you’ll get about ten extra inches on average. Or you can simply ask the cutter to measure to 91 1/2 cm (36″). Hope this helps!

  39. I love this pattern! So easy and makes up in a jiff! In order to get the fit correct for a Regency evening dress, I made a mock up in a sweet Liberty print voile I’ve had for years, thinking if there were no major issues my friend would have 2 dresses. It was perfect-didn’t have to change one thing. My friend was so thrilled, she wants a spencer jacket and pelisse to wear with the Liberty print dress in addition to the evening dress. I have some lovely pique for those parments. Now she will have a day dress as well! And it is so darling, she wants several tops made from the pattern to wear with jeans, shorts and slacks. Now I’m having fun looking at some sleeve and neckline variations. Suggestions? What a fun pattern!

  40. Hi, Blythe Ann! I’m so glad you enjoyed using my pattern and that your friend was thrilled with your work! I’ve made quite a few hip-length blouses from this pattern and the drawstring option in The Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern. They are comfortable and flattering and easy to make — all you do is cut the skirt to blouse-length. I really love the elbow-length sleeves from the ELC pattern, but you can also use this pattern’s long sleeves and cut to elbow-length or bracelet-length. Have fun!

    • Hi, Marie! I’m delighted you’ve enjoyed this pattern. I always love to see what my creative customers make, and I really enjoyed your blog post. πŸ™‚ The steps for sizing up to an “H” cup are the same as for sizing up to “DD,” which is shown in the appendix for the Romantic Era Dress pattern instructions. But I highly recommend first making a good-fitting set of stays for the proper support, as that will really make the final gown’s silhouette. I had a customer take my “D”-cup short stays up to a “G” with fantastic results. You can read her post on my message forum (you do have to sign up first, but it’s free and private). I hope this helps!

  41. Ms. Jennie, will you do me a fav. and check out my toile

    and help me with the tight armhole? I tried the forum and as I need to make one for a friend by 8/1 I’m a little anxious about it.

    I guess I need a better eye to see if what I am thinking is correct. The DH has tried to help me with fitting, but, he’s not Jennie Chancey.

    Thanks in advance.

  42. Another thing:

    The thing is, when I measure my arm, raised, I get the same number for the armhole on my bodice. The hubby says my “wings” are too big for the dress; not the armhole. I am frustrated and nervous as the fashion fabric is on its way from India and I can’t mess it up; but I don’t know how to address the issue.

  43. Hi, Lyric! Looks to me like you’ve got the armholes right, but you may be broader in the shoulders (across the back), which would lead to the pulling you see. The short bodice will, indeed, pull up when you raise your arms over your head, but you can fix this by adding a bit of length to the bodice front (the fix for a low bust point, which you might also have). I’ve got a tutorial that shows how to fix these areas at Hope this helps!

  44. oh my i wish someone would make me like eight dresses and nightgowns from this period i love it. it just makes me think of jane austin and pride and prejudice. my favorite!!!

  45. Thanks for your reply. I am buying the epattern right now, I have no idea how it looks and how to use it but it might take quite a long time before I get it through postal mail. An I my dress has to be ready for my son’s wedding on the 1st of september taking into account that I am leaving for a 3 weeks stay in Normandy next tuesday. If I read accurately your chart I need 3 m 1/4 in orther words, 3,25 m for size 16, as I am making it with a satin lining and mousseline I guess I need 3,25 cm of each. I would glady appreciate if you could confirm my guess. I am going to purchase some additional mousseline tomorrow. Thanks ever so. Pascale

  46. Hello! I do have video tutorials for the ePatterns, so be sure to click those links in the ePattern Instructions document. And don’t print anything prior to verifying your printer’s settings with the test ruler. πŸ™‚

    You’ve got the yardage correct, although you won’t need quite as much lining if you don’t plan to line the sleeves (not necessary to line them). 3m for lining will be more than sufficient unless you are very tall.

    Congrats on the wedding, and have fun sewing!

  47. Thanks for your comments. Unfortunatelly I cannot get my printer to print at the scale of 100 %. Don’t know why it does work even though I set 100 %. I’ll call them when I come back from holydays, if not I’ll print the pattern and make tests.

    Thanks for your help.

  48. Oh, that is so frustrating! There’s a tiny minority of printers that will not cooperate. You can always put the files on a thumb drive and take them to Staples to be printed. In fact, some Staples are able to piece the PDF back into a full pattern sheet and print to scale — but be sure to ask the per-foot price first! Sometimes it’s insane. A good architectural printer can do it for far less.

  49. I am trying to see the Bonus photo tutorial to make a bodiced petticoat from this pattern and it says the page is no longer there. Can I see it some where else?

  50. Hi, I am thinking about sewing the regency dress in a light blue organdy. I took a sewing class a couple years ago for school, but I haven’t done much since then. I really want to make the dress, but I’m wondering how quickly do you think a beginner could sew this dress? We’re doing a traditional English tea after we finish reading Pride and Prejudice in a few weeks, and I’d like to have ti done by then. I could probably spend 30 minutes to an hour on it everyday.
    Thank you!

    • Hi, Grace! If you are familiar with your sewing machine and can make basic skirts, you will be able to handle the Regency Gown pattern. I’ve had beginners go through it in a few days’ time. I recommend checking my photo instructions as you go step by step, as that will help you navigate through the harder sections like sleeves and placket. And you can always drop me a line or check my message forum if you run into any snags!

  51. Thank you for responding. πŸ™‚ I made a shirt and a skirt with my sewing class, but the skirt was too wide and the shirt ended up being too small(but I think that I grew from the time that I measured to the time that I finished it).
    Also, I was looking at the yardage requirements, and I noticed for the the lining it says: Lining(including skirt). Does that mean that I need 3 yards of the lining and 3 yards of my dress fabric for the skirt? I think so, but I want to make sure.
    Thank you!

  52. Sorry, I’ve got another question about the lining: Do I Have to line the bodice? or is it possible to skip that step? Also, if I have to line the bodice, can I use interfacing?
    Thank you so much!

  53. Hi, Grace! Yes, you really do need the lining to provide full support and strengthen the seams. I don’t recommend interfacing, as it’s not really fabric–just interior stabilizer. Use 100% cotton for the best results. πŸ™‚

    • Hi, Carrie! I have instructions for going up to a “DD” cup in my Romantic Dress photo instructions. The principles are the same, no matter your cup size, so if you follow the instructions, you can go up from the DD to anything else. I do strongly recommend creating the correct underpinnings for the dress first, as that will give the proper support and create the right silhouette for this time period. Once those are finished, you remeasure and go from there. One of my customers made the short stays fit her size G cup, and you can read about how she did it on my message forum (registration is free and private). I hope this helps!

  54. I’m wondering if this pattern offers any variations to the long sleeve? I ask because I’m a Quaker and plan on wearing this dress on a daily basis and fear I would find the sleeves too tight and bothersome. I saw that you recommended this dress as a good ‘first’ project. What would you suggest next for someone like me, looking for a dress to wear in ‘real life’. Thank you so much for your time. Blessings, Tina

    • Hi, Tina! The long sleeves on this pattern are not very fitted at all. It’s the Elegant Lady’s Closet that has the more fitted sleeves. This one is comfy for everyday wear. Have fun sewing!

  55. I want to make a dress like Elizabeth Bennet wears in the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice. It’s the one she wears to the party at Lucas Lodge and again at Lady Lucas’s house. What would you recommend for this project?

    • Hi, Amanda! The best one is this pattern (my original Regency Gown), but if you want the sheer white overdress, use the sleeveless pelisse option from my Spencer/Pelisse pattern. Hope this helps!

  56. I had a little burst of inspiration…wondering if I could use the dress pattern – raising back neckline and changing to front opening to make a spencer? I’m guessing I’d need to illiminate the gathers at the front?

    • Hi there! Yes, I have actually had ladies make a Spencer jacket from the gown pattern, but you do need to adjust the sizing, as it’s got to fit over your dress without being too snug, and you’ve got to eliminate the gathers and create proper darts instead. It’s actually a lot easier just to use my Spencer Jacket pattern, which already has the ease to fit over the dress and includes the correct back seams and sleeves, plus the darts. πŸ™‚ Whatever you do, have fun sewing!

      • I want to avoid ordering from abroad (costs me too much) or having to spend hours taping together lots of sheets of paper. So was hoping to use what I have. Will fit it over my clothes anyway to get the right ease. I’ve already illiminated gathers and changed to darts on the dress (gathers don’t suit me). I think its just the collar I’ll have a few issues with….but then me and collars don’t get on. lol! I find this pattern really versatile….made so many variations from it so far.

  57. Just bought the pattern. I’ve done a variety of small sewing projects, but I’m pretty new to dressmaking. Why do the instructions say to gradually change the width of the seam allowance on the placket? What does that do for the dress?

  58. Hi! I have been looking for regency era dress patterns. So glad I stumbled upon your site! I was wondering if you had this pattern in children’s sizes? I am making a set of dresses for a little girl’s birthday that are supposed to resemble the American Girl doll Caroline and I think this pattern is the closest of one of her dresses I have been able to fine. But… I need a child’s size πŸ˜‰

  59. I have just finished my first attempt at the short sleeved dress in a floral for a day dress and it has turned out really well! Thank you for such a wonderful pattern. I am now going to try a more formal dress for evening wear. Planning to wear both to the Jane Austen Festival Australia in April. Thanks again πŸ™‚

  60. I am beginning to start sewing the Regency dress for my daughter who is 13. Her bust measures at 32, her waist at 31 and her hips at 37. I’ve purchased the women’s pattern. I know that I will have to do a different size bodice than the skirt. But can you help with what sizes I should use? Thank you!

    • Hi, Melanie! The bust measurement is the most important for this pattern because of its empire-waist style. You can ignore the natural waist measurement and cut the size 10 for the bodice and skirt. Because of the generous skirt back with its pleats or gathers, she’ll have plenty of room in the hips. However, if you plan to line the skirt with the skirt lining (which has a closer fit), then follow my tutorial to see how to grade up from the bodice to the skirt (lining, in this case) in the hip area (scroll down to “The Rest of the Pattern” for the details on adding width just to the hips and keeping the bodice its own size). Happy sewing!

  61. Hi Jennie
    I’ve barely started using this pattern and I’ve already hit a problem: I can’t for the life of me get the curved seam on the bodice back and side back to line up properly. No matter what I try, it seems like the side back piece is too short, and I end up with extra space on the back piece either at the bottom or at the armscye, and this gap isn’t on any of the instruction pictures. I measured the stitching line on each piece (5/8″ in from the fabric edge) and it seems like the stitching line on the back piece is almost 2 cm longer than the side back? Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

    • Hi, Zoellen! It is probably a fabric issue. If you are using material that is not very “giving” (no stretch), then the curve will not ease as nicely as fabrics with a bit of stretch to them. That line on the curve isn’t a stitching line–it’s an “easing” line, and is there is to help the curved side back piece go nicely into the curve of the back if you have stretchier material. (You use it to run basting stitches, which are gently pulled up to help “ease” the curve into position.) But if you have stiffer fabric, just match from the top of the side back down as best you can and trim away any “leftovers” by grading gently into the rest of the side back. No harm done!

      • Ah, that must be it. The fabric I’m using for my toile is a bit stiffer than my nice fabric; I hadn’t thought about that. Thank you!! πŸ™‚

        • You were right, it was the fabric. I cut a new piece out of muslin and it worked much better than the poly/cotton blend I was using before. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait til I finish the mock-up and start on the real thing!

  62. I want to use this pattern for my daughters to wear to a ball next winter. One daughter is very well endowed. She probably wears a H cup. Will one of your patterns work for her? If so, which would you recommend as the best option. I know I will have to go with full stays for her.

    • Hi, Wendy! Definitely use this pattern and add the supplement for the larger cup sizes. The supplement goes up to DD, but you can go up as large as needed by simply lengthening the bodice front as shown in my Romantic Era Dress instructions. Do be sure to make the underthings first, as those will alter her shape, flattening and pushing up the bust. Then measure over those and go on from there. Hope this helps, and happy sewing!

  63. Hi, I scrolled through the comments to see if this was asked but didn’t notice anywhere.. Are proper underpinnings required for this dress or can you get away with wearing modern underclothes?


      • I recently bought the elc pattern and underpinnings but I am going to make my 2 youngest daughters dresses first.. I am now pregnant again and am wondering for a maternity dress would I have to add width to the skirt part of the dress or could I make the dress as is and there would be enough room? My bust measurement is a size 16 but the waist is at a size 20 and my hips are a size 18.. I want to make a few so I can wear them for normal wear. Also, would I make gathers in the front as well as the back?

        Thanks for answering all my questions I know I have had a few in a few different places!

        • Hi, Erica! The drawstring dress works beautifully for early pregnancy but will probably feel a bit tight by the eighth month. I recommend simply moving the skirt front piece two inches from the fold and doing the same with the bodice front piece. Then you have more room for the belly and more room later for the bust if you use the drawstring dress for nursing. Just go with your bust measurement when cutting the bodice back pieces, and use the size 16 with the added width at the front for the skirt. When you pull up the waistline drawstring, you’ll have more gathers in front (plus the usual skirt gathers or pleats in back). I hope this helps!

  64. I’m looking for a gown that is for daily wear, as my skin is quite sensitive to seams and such, so I need to find a dress with long, flowing lines and that isn’t too tight up top. I love the empire waist gowns and love all things Jane Austen. I noticed that your pattern doesn’t include the lace-front instructions? I don’t want to purchase the Simplicity pattern because I plan to make these dresses for years and need the durable pattern. Will this pattern be updated with lace-front instructions?

      • Yes, that’s what I meant. πŸ™‚ I wish I could do the Elegant Lady’s Closet, but I can’t wear the underpinnings. I have to do a simple dress with linen and linen shorts underneath. They are the only things that don’t negatively affect my body.


        • Hi again! If you don’t wish to do the underpinnings, you can simply lengthen the bodice front of the Elegant Lady’s Closet so the empire waist doesn’t hit across the bustline. Not hard at all. πŸ™‚

  65. Does this pattern require the Regency underpinnings or can it be worn over modern underclothes?

    Is this pattern included in the Elegant Lady’s Closet? If it is I’d rather get the whole shebang plus the underpinnings, rather than just buying this one pattern and the plus-size supplement.

    • Hi, Brenda! This pattern is completely different from the Elegant Lady’s Closet. The ELC requires the underpinnings, because it has the higher bustline and pulled back shoulder line (which is created by stays). The original Regency Gown pattern’s bodice is longer, which means you can get away with a push-up or balconette bra. Hope this helps!

  66. Do you recommend using interfacing for the bodice? I am a beginner and many references say you need interfacing if you are going to make button holes. Is this necessary with your pattern?

  67. Thank you so much for including a pattern with a larger size. I get so tired of going to the fabric stores, looking in the pattern books and the costumes not fitting my size. I can finally do a Pride, Prejudice and Zombies cosplay without a ton of add-on’s, hoping they’ll fit properly.

  68. Hi, Jennie!

    I’ve been following your site since you first posted about the Titanic prom gown project way back when (I was so envious!), and I’ve finally had the occasion to try making up one of your patterns! I actually purchased the Simplicity version of this dress, and I had a few questions– first, how much will I need to lower the waistline for larger cup sizes like C and D (since the current cutting line is only for A-cups)? Second, I bought the 14-20 size pattern before I read your note about going down a size for proper fit– if I need to cut a 12 will I be all right just eyeballing the size differential between the other sizes, and trying to cut an equivalent size smaller? I’ll do a toile, of course, but I’d like to get an idea of what I need to do first. Thank you so much!

    • Hi, Tanya! Thanks for the kind words. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the site for so many years (1998–wow!). The Simplicity version of my pattern has several differences, so I posted them all at To see how to take the A-cup bodice up to a C or D, check my tutorial in the Appendix to my Romantic Era Dress pattern. The instructions are for D and DD, so if you need to adjust for C, you won’t have to add quite as much room. However, since you’ll be making a toile before cutting into your fashion material, go ahead and add at least 1 3/4″ as directed for a D cup. You can always cut it down if needed (just remember to account for the 5/8″ seam allowance). Happy sewing, and don’t hesitate to drop a line if you have any further questions!

  69. Hi there! I’m new to sewing and am about to embark on this pattern in a size 26. Thank you for providing the fabric yardage requirements, notions list, etc, but how much thread will I need? I’m ordering it online and am not sure how to estimate the thread yardage.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi, Courtney! One spool of thread will see you through this project. I always keep spools of white and cream on hand for bodice linings, but I just buy one spool (110 yards/110 meters) for the fashion fabric. Happy sewing!

  70. Hi Jennie,
    I’ve looked through the other comments, and I’m sorry if I’m being stupid or asking a question that has been answered already, but I’m actually quite confused about how to make the button stand on the back of this Regency gown! There’s no fold line on the pattern pieces for the bodice back.
    A few years ago I made a blouse that featured a button stand, so I may try fishing out that pattern to see what it instructs me to do; but I’d welcome any hints you can give me!

    Yours idiotically,

    Anna πŸ™‚

    • Hi, Anna! There are no stupid questions. Ask away! There’s no fold line on the bodice back, because you don’t need one. You cut two back pieces and two side back pieces (ditto for the lining). The front is cut on the fold (so one each of fashion fabric and lining). Once you’ve sewn the fashion fabric bodice together and lining bodice together and joined bodice to lining, the center back will have a finished edge. The left edge will overlap the right, creating the closure. Buttonholes go on the back left edge, and buttons corresponding on the right side beneath. You’ll need to try on the completed dress, then mark the overlap and place buttonholes (don’t place buttonholes until the skirt is attached to the bodice, since 5/8″ of the lower edge will vanish into the empire waist seam!). That’s all there is to it! Warmly, Jennie

      • Dear Jennie,

        Ah-ha, the mystery is solved! In the interests of HA, and because I do not enjoy doing linings, I flatlined the fashion fabric with the lining fabric instead. This, of course, has meant that I do not have finished edges at the back opening of my bodice. Not to worry. The gown is otherwise ready to assemble – only the skirt remains unattached to the bodice – so tomorrow I’ll try on the bodice again and ascertain what the overlap at the back is and how therefore I can best finish off those raw edges and accommodate the buttons. Sewing tutors at my club have promised help!

        Thanks very much for your quick and helpful reply! I’ve got one other question, though it’s more a matter of curiosity than an essential question for the gown I’m currently sewing. On a prior occasion, I went dancing a skirt that had a hem circumference very close to that of the unaltered Regency Gown. I’d found that though I could dance acceptably in it, it bound and hobbled my legs when I tried to step over something (a log, an object on the floor, a low railing etc). This was not cool! I figured it was because I am tall and have a long stride, and so when I came to sewing this Regency Gown, I widened the back skirt piece by a total of six inches, and drew the skirt back lining out to match the wider hem circumference.

        To my eyes, it still looks columnar and Regency-ish… and it is certainly a significant improvement in that it allows me to take a sizeable stride forwards or backwards! But it still gets closer to catching my legs than I’d like, especially when moving sideways. I wondered two things:
        1) How full can I go with the back panels of the skirt and still recreate an accurate Regency look?
        2) How full can I go and not have any structural problems with gathering the fabric into the waist seam?
        3) Did Regency women have to think about and handle their dresses when climbing stiles a la Elizabeth Bennet on her way to see sick Jane at Netherfield? Hmmph. So much for the freedom of movement for which the period is, in contemporary eyes, vaunted. πŸ˜‰

        Thanks for your work here! Much appreciated.


        • As coincidence would have it, my copy of “Regency Women’s Dress” by Cassidy Percoco arrived this evening, and as I began reading through it I discover that it was in fact quite common to line garments in Regency times… I’d assumed, because of how uncommon it was to use linings rather than underlinings in garments from the second half of the nineteenth century, that that was true of Regency dresses too. It seems I was wrong! Lesson learned. πŸ™‚

        • Great! Yes, there are a variety of ways Regency gown bodices were finished–unlined with bound seams, flat-lined, and lined in what looks like my “modern” method but is kosher as well. Most of the lined gowns I’ve seen in person aren’t flat-lined unless the outer material is very sheer. Flat-lining is really helpful when you have boning to add to the bodice, as you do on earlier Georgian gowns and then again in the late Romantic and Victorian eras. It’s fascinating to see the variety of finishes!

        • Fascinating to hear about the link between bodice boning and the absence of a lining. That makes complete sense. It’s proving very interesting to find out more about finishing techniques in Regency gowns, and indeed in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century garments in general!

          Thanks also for the information about skirt widths. In the gown I’ve almost finished, I have the skirt back lining as wide as the skirt back at the hemline, though perhaps I should simply have cut the lining to the same pattern piece as the fashion fabric.

          My problem tends to be that skirts hobble me at my ankles. Wearing a skirt made up of the skirt front and back lining pieces as they were originally drafted in the Regency Gown, I could not step over a bag left on the floor unless I took hold of my skirt with my hands and lifted it up towards my knees. This is what I meant when I referred to Elizabeth Bennet climbing stiles. To climb a stile in a Regency Gown, I would have to lift it up above my ankles in order not to be hobbled. Perhaps I just have a weird way of walking. πŸ™‚

        • You’re most welcome! It’s actually not as common to find gowns of this time period with narrow linings until post-1810, and then not in ballgowns, because it would restrict movement too much. And, of course, a lot of gowns were left unlined after the shocking style of the French “encroyables,” who didn’t mind leaving little to the imagination! Have fun wearing your gown!

        • I answered your flat-lining question in your other comment, so this is for your skirt question. My gown’s skirt, if unlined, has plenty of room for a wide stride due to the full skirt back. If you use the narrower lining, you’ll have a limited stride. The easiest “fix” is to make the lining the same as the skirt–so a full back rather than the narrow back. If you are using lightweight materials, you won’t have difficulty gathering or pleating into the bodice back. If you want to make the skirt back extra full, you can go quite wide for a 1790s impression. In fact, if you’re using Egyptian Muslin, which is thin like gauze, you can actually double with the width of the skirt back if desired!

          As for how ladies handled their skirts, well, there are a couple of answers: 1) they got intolerably muddy like Elizabeth on her walk to Netherfield Park and had to launder frequently; 2) they sewed loops into the center back of the skirt hem to pull over a wrist, keeping the long skirts up off the ground (this is more common from 1795-1805, when trained skirts were more popular). You can actually move quite freely and comfortably with the shorter skirt lengths (just above the ankle) of the 1810s, but that added loop makes even the longer skirts workable.

          I hope this helps!

  71. Hello from England!
    I am casting about in vain for Regency fashion suggestions for an old lady – me! Regency fashions seem to epitomise youth, grace and elegance, none of which I now possess, having passed my allotted ration of three score and ten years! I wish the event to which I’ve been invited were Victorian-themed, as that suits what remains of my figure much better!

    I am an experienced dressmaker, so don’t anticipate any real problems on that score, but I have entirely the wrong shape for Regency fashions, being rather fat, and *very* short, together with the almost-inevitable figure changes imposed by gravity and old age. I’d far rather be seen as a respectable middle-class matron of amazing age, than as mutton dressed as lamb. What would your opinion be of a mid grey crepe or a dobby stripe, with lavender trim, or perhaps a deep wine, and a generous fichu to cover my embonpoint?
    Any suggestions would be very welcome!

    • Hi, Lizzie! The really interesting thing about ladies “of a certain age” is that they tended to dress as they had done in their prime (mid-30s) rather than closely following the latest fashions. So you could actually make a 1780s dress and be perfectly correct for the Regency Era! If you watch the 1995 version of “Sense & Sensibility,” notice what Mrs. Jennings wears throughout the film, because it is spot on for her age. She wears what was fashionable and flattering when she was young with some adaptations for the 1790s (like a higher waistline). Watch especially for this gown (click the link to see it) with its elbow-length sleeves and ruffles, square neckline, and boned bodice. Very 1780s with a few touches to make it a bit more “modern”–like a bonnet appropriate to the 1790s.

      Your color choices are good–but keep in mind that greys and lavenders were worn for “half mourning” (the second year of mourning a near relative). Deep wine would be ideal. I hope this helps, and feel free to ask more questions!

  72. Hello,
    I’m working on costumes for a home school production of Pride and Prejudice and want to use your patterns for dresses! I’m very new to sewing, but very motivated:0)

    I made a toile with sleeves for 2 girls of similar build and found the bodice too wide at the shoulders for both. I will cut the pattern per your instructions to move the outside shoulder seam in, but should I then add the the lost shoulder strap width to the inside? The sleeves were a little snug for both girls also. To make them a little bigger, do you cut out of the lower side back and bodice areas? I thought about adding 1/4″ to the length of the front and back shoulder straps to drop the sleeve lower and add room but am not sure if that would work.

    I purchased a paper copy of this pattern and plan on ordering the additional patterns as epatterns. I will need a variety of sizes for my girls – will I be able to print multiple copies of the epatterns so I can cut them down the the sizes I need. I’m tracing the paper copy for various sizes – printing and cutting sounds easier!
    Thanks so much for all your patterns and tips!

    • Hi, Cindy! If you follow my instructions for moving the shoulder seam in, you actually don’t cut down the width of the shoulder strap–you just move it further in (which narrows the neckline a bit). If the width is actually causing the neckline to gape in front, then I recommend cutting the bodice center front with the fold line hanging 1/4″ off the edge of the material (which subtracts 1/2″ at the bodice front, narrowing the neckline and pulling the shoulders in a bit). You don’t have to mess with the bodice back, because you can fiddle with the overlap to make sure the fit is correct there (just place the buttons farther from the center back to create more of an overlap). When you try on the toile, you’ll be able to see if that’s going to correct the width problem (it should do nicely).

      As for the sleeves, I’m not sure if the snug fit is in the armholes or in the sleeve bands. If the girls find it hard to raise their arms past mid-bust, it’s likely the sleeve bands are too snug. Add another inch or 1.5″ to the bands to allow for a greater range of movement. If the tightness is under the arms, what makes Georgian and Regency armholes more roomy is not cutting them down but actually making them hit higher under the armpit (see this article on Threads Magazine): “An armhole cut high up under the arm is generally more comfortable because it allows a greater range of movement. A sleeveless garment is only 1/2″ higher under the arm than a fitted garment with a sleeve. Hold a ruler under your arm as high as comfortably possible, the underarm seamline should fall barely below where the ruler is touching the flesh.” This may sound counter-intuitive, but if you cut the armhole lower, the sleeve will also have to be changed to allow for a greater range of movement.

      Finally, you can print the ePattern over and over again if you want, but I always recommend printing one master copy, then tracing off the sizes you need onto interfacing or Swedish Tracing Paper, which gives you a sturdy, reusable master pattern that is super easy to use and won’t wrinkle or tear. I’d just stick with the paper pattern you have already and do that. Much more economical in the long run–and it saves you all that time used in piecing together and taping the ePattern sheets.

      I hope this helps, and happy sewing!

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