I attended a regency bodice making workshop on the weekend. A few things stood out, the first being that I now understand why none of my dresses fit correctly. I took measurements that I never even knew existed, and the majority of them required the assistance of a helper. The second thing that stood out was the connection to the past. A group of women gathering together to create clothing, problem solve and chat. I am not much of a talker, so during break times I wandered off to the kitchen to help make afternoon tea, but that in itself was also something that women would have been doing in the 1800’s, preparing the same type of food we were preparing, brewing pots of tea, putting homemade scones on the table next to the clotted cream. Modern life is so fast, technical and pre-packaged and participating in these types of events is extremely grounding.
In the past I have used a period pattern from “The Elegant Ladies Closet” and managed to produce what I thought was a lovely bodice. The issue is that I have been having the devil of a time trying to attach the skirt. Pictured below are the bodice pieces from “The Elegant Ladies Closet” pattern.
I noticed that the bodice I made at the workshop is much smaller, and hope that adding the skirt will be a less complicated process. Pictured below is the custom measured bodice pattern.
The photo below shows the difference between the front bodice patterns. The piece underneath is from the Elegant Ladies pattern and the muslin laying on top is the custom piece. What a huge difference, no wonder all of my dresses felt so huge.
Unfortunately, there were too many people at the workshop, we ran out of time, and I did not leave with a completed bodice. I have been sitting on a pile of mud green fabric, all pre-washed and ready to become something that will hopefully resemble a day-dress using the new bodice template. I suppose that update will have to wait for the next workshop.