Building a Pattern Wardrobe

Shannon is having a fun series of posts on her blog, on how to create a wardrobe out of a few basic patterns. She has some delightful ideas on there; you might like to check them out! 🙂



When you think of Regency, do you tend to think of the very low necklines Lizzy and Jane wear in Pride & Prejudice? Maybe you think, “That was a terribly immodest era!” Actually, proper young ladies usually wore higher collars or fill-in pieces called “chemisettes” for day wear and saved the lower necklines for evening wear. Chemisettes were like modern dickies. Here are some very cute ones from different period dramas.

Lydia (left) and Kitty (right) from A&E’s Pride and Prejudice

Henrietta (left) and Anne (right) from Sony’s Persuasion

Harriet (left) from A&E’s Emma. (Emma’s collar [on the right] is not a chemisette, I don’t think.)

I had such an itch to sew the other day, and was kind of let down that I didn’t have enough fabric to make a whole new dress. Then I was looking at screencaps of Anne’s brown dress in the second picture above (I’m planning on recreating that one 🙂 ), and noticed her pretty chemisette she wore with it. I then remembered that we had some sheer material left over from Amanda’s graduation dress. So I decided to use it for my own chemisette. 🙂

I learned a new “skill” while I was at it (though it is a very easy procedure; it doesn’t really take “skill”): French seams. It encloses the raw edge in the seams so that the thin fabric does not unravel.

“Marianne” was going to get pictures of me in my new creation. Ze Kitty (spoken in Italian accent) saw the camera and told herself, “Hey, I wanna be in the picture too! They always tell me I look so cute in pictures!” So she joined me. Therefore, you get an extra treat with the pictures– a sighting of our queenly cat. 😉

For a closer look, you should be able to click on the images and they will open up in a new page in a larger format.

Kitty looks like she’s slipping in this picture. 😛
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer and that you are continuing to grow in God’s grace! He is SO GOOD and deserves all the glory in all that we do!! 😀

Step #1 to an Edwardian wardrobe

The Lord has graciously provided a way for me to start collecting patterns for our intended Canada trip next year. It came as a direct answer to prayer, and I pray that I will glorify Him in how I use it! He is so good.

Using the surprise gift certificate I received from Sense & Sensibility, I chose to start by purchasing the Edwardian blouse pattern. The pattern contains such a delightful variety of blouses that one can make a whole wardrobe of blouses out that $7.95 download! The blouse can button in the front or in the back, be smooth or gathered, and feature embroidery or lace. It can be worn without or without a corset. One may also choose from a wide variety of sleeve styles and necklines. I love the thought of this pattern because it can be adapted for historical or modern wear. I could wear an “Anne” dress to the store and people probably wouldn’t think I’m all that weird. So I’d hope, at least. 🙂

Below are some fun blouse inspirations, as well as other features that I plan to add to my collection.

Even though it is “just historical costuming”, may God still receive the glory!

Romantic Era Dress: FINIS!

After some alterations, seam ripping, resewing, and finger-crossing, I have now completed my Romantic era dress!!!




And of course I had to pretend I was Molly, picking berries. All I need is that lovely curly hair. 😀I tried but I just couldn’t get my hair to look “Romantic”. Anyone out there know of a tutorial for Romantic era hairstyles??

Whew, did I learn a lot in this sewing experience! I find that with each sewing project I undertake, I learn something new– and it’s not always sewing techniques; it’s generally things like humility (no, I don’t know everything!), patience (it’s okay to slow down and fix things that went wrong!), and taking directions (why do I so often think I know how it will work, rather than the directions? Please, readers, take Jenny Chancey’s advice: make a toile and alter if you need to!)

Overall it was such a pleasure to make and I am very happy with it. Thank you all for your encouragement while I worked on it. 🙂