Tosh and Clara

Clara parasol Clara back
Clara front Clara side

My husband and I went to a pioneer ball, and I made all of our clothing for the event even down to his tie and my head ornament (made of salvaged antique lace).

I originally bought the Regency pattern to make two brides maids dresses for my wedding in 2008. I was really excited to break out the pattern again, this time for myself!

I used the high neckline supplement and was really pleased with the way it came out. I decided to pipe the sleeve joint and the back seams. I had to take in the lower sleeves quite a bit to get the fit right and I added some width to the top sleeve to get a bit more fullness.That was where the test muslin comes in so handy! I added the extra fullness option for the back skirt of my dress. I used crochet trim on the sleeves and neckline.


My bodiced petticoat is made of natural linen and my pantaloons are cotton percale. The boots are my very first pair of reproduction shoes. I felt so comfortable in them all night long. I LOVE them!

I have been sewing reproduction clothing since I was about 16. I am still learning and refining my technique with every new project. I particularly love looking at original antique clothing as so much can be learned in studying the way seams were finished or pleats set in etc. Nothing like the original to help you know how to “get it right”!

I am so lucky that I married a guy who doesn’t mind joining in the fun. My husband wears chops all the time, not just for special events.

Sepia tosh and clara

They had a live band at the ball and they taught us many old time dances. I asked my husband, “Isn’t it more fun to do these dances while wearing these historic clothes?” he said “Yes!”.

Thanks for the beautiful patterns, Jennie! I am planning on doing more dresses and the pelisse soon.

~ Clara

This is such an amazing pattern story, Clara! You did a beautiful job sewing for the both of you, and your ensemble is just wonderful from the underpinnings out. WELL DONE! Thank you so much for sharing!

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