From the Costume Closet

Here is some eye-candy for those of our readers who enjoy historical clothing. I made this regency dress the year before I was married. I made the spencer jacket and bonnet the following winter. I wore this to Church several times before I grew out of my outfits during pregnancy. Now that Jesse is weaned, I should get it out and wear it again! It is both comfy and warm.

I have always enjoyed the story of how the spencer jacket came into fashion…

“The spencer, a very short-waisted jacket, was worn with the Empire dress. It was invented by Lord Spencer, who claimed that fashion was so absurd that he himself could concoct a ridiculous, impractical style and it would become the ‘rage’. He cut the tails off his own coat and went for a stroll. In two weeks, all London was wearing the ‘spencer’, and soon fashionable men, women and children of the Continent and the colonies were wearing the same little jacket.”
-“The Mode in Costume”, R. Turner Wilcox
(incidentally my favorite costume reference book)

Kinda reminds you of today’s fashions, doesn’t it?


All the details of the dress and spencer are historically authentic. The dress is my own design, the spencer is from Jennie Chancey’s pattern. The cape is copied after a cape in “Costume Close-Up”, c. 1700’s.


The hat is also my own invention, for which I have created a short tutorial. Would anyone be interested in a bonnet tutorial?
Let me know if you are – they are fun and fairly easy.

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9 responses to “From the Costume Closet”

  1. Jessica Avatar

    I love that outfit! There is something so lady like about that era of clothing.

    As to the “creation” of the Spencer, sounds very much like today's fashion.

  2. Kelerr Avatar
    Kelerr

    I love it! I've been working on a crazy project designing and making dresses for my work's production of the Music Man (it's a middle school) – wish I could make Regency stuff, but we're in the Titanic era! (Which I love just as much, just wish I could branch the patterns out a bit…)

  3. Kinsleys5 Avatar
    Kinsleys5

    Trina the bonnet is wonderful! Great design. I don't think I've seen that before. Better than a tutorial… sign me up for a bonnet CLASS!! Let's get together after I move back!

  4. aunt b Avatar
    aunt b

    Trina,
    Interesting story on the spencer. I had not heard that. You are a good seamstress! Way to go… making your own patterns for your things! How are you feeling today?
    love,
    Aunt Beverly

  5. Anna Avatar
    Anna

    You look so lovely!! Very nice pictures!

  6. rahraht Avatar
    rahraht

    Please, Please give us a tutorial on the bonnet! I have tried a little hat making but could not wear my efforts ๐Ÿ™

  7. olivia joy Avatar
    olivia joy

    You look positively beautiful!!1
    When were these pics taken?

  8. Jodes Avatar
    Jodes

    You look lovely! You so should wear them!!!

    I for one would like to see a bonnet tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Tara Avatar
    Tara

    That's hilarious…I'd never heard the spencer story before! Thanks for sharing it…and your spencer is lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚

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