1790s Costumes & Research

This section is all about the costumes friends and I have made to celebrate the elegant, floaty, feathery mid-1790s, which presaged the Regency period. The page content is split out mostly by type of garment; each section contains links to the garments, accessories, and so on that I've made. For more research documentation see the Research page.

At lunch. Image courtesy Jenni of Living with Jane blog.


Gowns, Robes, & Petticoats 

1795 Full Dress Ensemble in Cream Silk: Drafted from scratch and with multiple petticoats and trims and full sets of accessories for different looks, including a day look

Enlarged and as full dress at a ball with friend Polly, July 2021

    As an afternoon ensemble
     at Henry Clay estate, circa 2011
As a day look, circa 2010-11

As a day dress for 
somewhere on the Henry Clay estate,
circa 2010

1790s Goldwork Petticoat: To go with the cream silk full dress ensemble
In the middle of creating the goldwork embroidery

: Dress diary of a dress commissioned unfinished from Geneece Arnold and then retooled for a different look, several times.
    The cool Grecian look, in morning-dress

As a Marveilleuse, a rather
conservative one

As part of an afternoon ensemble good 
for a concert or visiting

As outdoor morning dress for wear
in the park, with "cloak"

Hand-embroidered and spangled sleeveless/convertible spencer: an excruciatingly long project, yet one that ended well.

With the wrap-front dress as an 
afternoon ensemble

After embroidering and spangling, the ruche
in progress

Lilac silk petticoat: made to match with the convertible spencer either alone or with the wrap-front dress.
Hemming the petticoat in contrasting yellow thread

Cotton print handsewn drawstring dress, circa late 1790s: Analysis of the construction and stitches used on my first Regency-era dress; some of the information is now outdated. Dress from the Sense and Sensibility pattern.

Morning dress suitable
for a picnic

A daytime ensemble

Red Indian cotton print robe and petticoat for Laura: Dress diary. My friend Jenni and I designed and researched the dress, and then Jenni made it.

Accessories & Hair


Precis of a bandeau and lots of false hair, 2011. Beautiful but hard to put together, and very hot to wear.

Earlier version of the headdress, at the Jane Austen festival. Described in some detail.

1796-ish hair tutorialwith research

The back of the coiffure with the tight

1795 hairpiece: easy long locks, but you can't take the hat off, because it's sewn to a hairband!


Reticule: Spangled and tasseled


Blue and gold fan for the 2011 Jane Austen Festival Ball

Fans -- Some History and a Painting Experiment


1795 straw hat with salmon trim and ostrich plume: Precis


1790s shift, from the Sense and Sensibility pattern, with alterations

So comfortable that for long
I wore it as a nightgown

Bodiced petticoat full tutorial: Made for a friend, this bodiced petticoat serves also as light stays. These petticoats could also be worn as an opaque layer under a sheer dress; I haven't made one of these yet.

A quick strapped petticoat, made for friend Caroline. 

Heavily boned transition stays: The Past Patterns #30 1796-1806 transition stays. I made them for myself and they are terrific. The only real post I have about them is about enlarging them.

Enlarged June 2021
Highly comfortable

Finally, please see my friend Jenni's blog at Living With Jane. She has lots of 1790s content!