My Regency Ball Gown

Finally today I was able to finish it! And I will say that I am more than a little pleased with my new beautiful dress!

Some of you might remember that before I actually began working on this I had an idea that I wanted to make a ball gown out of pink silk. I discussed this plan with Elisabeth, and we contacted the company Simbra Siden (a Swedish silk shop and mail-order company ) and they sent us some samples of certain kinds of silk that I was interested in. They arrived and my plans of making a pink dress were quickly abandoned, because no sooner had I seen one of the fabrics then I was completely taken with it! It was a beautiful dark, ruby red crepe satin, very dramatic and so gorgeous!!! I decided to get it, and did. And you know a wonderful thing about it was, I didn’t have to pay a single penny! You see, as I am “studying” with Elisabeth I am enrolled in a school. And they offered to pay for the materials that I use during the time I’m there! Isn’t that amazing?!

So I got the fabric and soon started working on the dress. At first my plan was to make a smooth bodice, but after experimenting and trying some different ways we decided that some gathers worked better with this fabric. So I added quite a lot of gathers in the front.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do about the sleeves at first, I wanted to do something fun and different with them. But then we decided that more simple sleeves would be more elegant as this fabric is already so special. But they are actually not that simple; not only are they lined but there is also an extra layer in between the lining and the outer fabric. The fabric is not particularly stiff so it needed that.
I lined the whole bodice with the same fabric. An effect I really like!
When we came to the back closure we weren’t quite sure what to do. I didn’t want to use buttons, as I had that on my three other dresses. We discussed the pros and cons of various alternatives before I finally decided on lacing.
Then I added a waistband and a little bow in the back. And of course, a skirt! ;P

The whole thing is done entirely by hand (that’s the reason it took so long). I like sewing by hand, and the end result has a special feel to it I think. But after sitting for two days sewing through layers upon layers (that’s what it felt like at least) to make the gathered sleeves my hands had such a terrible cramp in them! But I am mighty pleased with the result!

So here are some pictures, quite a few I admit. I liked how the pictures turned out, (thank you mama!) so…

Regency Ball Gown

By the way, you can see my new gloves too!

Regency Ball Gown

Back view

Regency Ball Gown

Regency Ball Gown

Regency Ball Gown

Regency Ball Gown

Some “silly pictures”

Regency Ball Gown

Regency Ball Gown

This outfit really isn’t made to be worn walking in muddy fields…

Regency Ball Gown

Closer view of back-lacing

Regency Ball Gown

And of bow

Regency Ball Gown

Here you can see how it is lined with the same fabric

Regency Ball Gown

And then just this picture because it really shows how much “life” there is in this fabric. It is so shiny and wonderful! It has such a delicious feeling to it! Love it!

Regency Ball Gown

So yes, there is my dress that I have talked so much about. Finally ready and waiting to be worn! I can’t wait myself! I am working on a little bag/reticule to go along with it. Might share some pictures of that once it’s done too.

Thanks for looking everyone, and I hope I haven’t bored you with too many pictures now! But I’m so in love with this dress I couldn’t help it…! 😛

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29 Responses to My Regency Ball Gown

  1. wow!!!!!! This is *awesome* 😀 😀 😀

    I love the material, it’s absolutely lovely… and that little bow on the back really finishes the look nicely. I’m also impressed at the invisible closure on the back! Your sewing is too good, lol! 😀

  2. Viktoria says:

    :O AURORA, YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!
    Och väldigt snygg i flera av bilderna, måste jag säga! Tycker absolut att den med dig framför Skeppet Barret (det är där va?) eller den med dig och björken (bild #2) borde bli en ny fb profile picture! 😉
    Men allvarligt, du är helt otrolig!!! Sååååååååå unbelievably snygg klänning!!! Success!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Mari says:

    Hello, Aurora!
    I just found you on twitter and came to visit your blog. It’s lovely! What a nice surprise after this stressful Monday.

    Your dress is GORGEOUS. Did you really made it yourself??
    Congratulations for the wonderful taste and hability!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Aurora, you must feel like a fairy tale princess with a fairy godmother, even though you did have to do all the sewing yourself! Working with real silk is one of the finest pleasures afforded the dressmaker. I’m envious!

  5. Charleybrown says:

    Wow! It looks wonderful and you look like very fitting as a Regency lady! Awesome 🙂

  6. Laurina says:

    Vilken underbar klänning! Jag är verkligen imponerade! Dina sylektioner låter mycket givande. Lukas har också varit lärling ett tag men istället hos en silversmed.

  7. Atlanta says:

    How gorgeous!

  8. Charlotte says:

    Wow it’s pretty! And it looks really good on you of course.
    Amazing job, show it to everybody =)…

    Hugs from Germany!!

  9. The Doctor says:

    Your new dress is lovely.

    I too recently took possession of a new suit of clothes, but for a far less festive occasion.

    I shall look forward to seeing more images of you at the ball.

  10. Victoria says:

    The detailing of your dress is quite beautiful and shows how wonderfully talented you are. Great job!!!

  11. Emily says:

    The dress is beautiful! I love the lace up closure. you are so lucky to have gotten that fabric for free!

  12. Aurora says:

    Wow!! Thank you all for your overwhelmingly kind words! It is certainly encouraging to hear that your work is appreciated! Thanks guys!

    Justin – I really am very pleased with how the bow turned out too. I was debating with myself whether or not to add it, but I am glad I did! 🙂

    Toy – helt rätt, det ÄR skeppet Barret!! Well spotted! Det bilden är nog min favorit tror jag. Fast jag gillade många av dom. Och att använda en som profilbild är definitivt inte omöjligt.
    Tack så mycket söta du! <3

    Mari - I am glad to hear that you found your way here to my blog! And so pleased to hear that you like it! I did make the dress myself, and I am so happy with it! 🙂

    Rebecca - you're right, it does feel very nice and special to wear it. It's funny how pretty dresses can really make you feel like a fairytale princess! 🙂 And I couldn't agree with you more about working with silk! It is such a pleasurable experience. Just holding it and working with it (and indeed, just looking at it!) makes you happy!

    Charleybrown - thank you very much! And I just want to say that I really like your website/blog! I've looked at it before and think it's a great site!

    Laurina - tack så mycket! Jo det är givande att få gå och lära sig utav en som verkligen kan. Och praktiskt eftersom att man inte behöver lösa alla problem som uppstår helt själv! ;P

    Atlanta - thank you so much!

    Charlotte - thanks, you're so sweet! Hugs back to you!

    The Doctor - thank you! I do hope that I'll be able to get more pictures at the ball. It should be a more fitting setting there. Hopefully I'll find someone who'll be kind enough to act as photographer for me. 🙂
    I looked over at your blog to see your outfit. It looks great! Very elegant and fitting for a Regency gentleman!

    Victoria - thank you very much! I'm glad to hear you like it!

    Emily - thanks! I know, I am very lucky there! It really made my day when I heard I would get it for free! 😀

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  15. Jeanie says:

    Oh what beautiful gown!!!

  16. Devine says:

    I know it has been said, but, “Wow, I love your new dress.” What an amazing thing to have made it all by hand. You must have as much patience as you have wonderful sewing skills. Thank you for sharing all these lovely photos. Now I will look forward to seeing pictures from the ball, where I am certain you will have a fabulous time and feel like a princess, as one of your other readers suggested above. Please, do share your reticule photos, too; I would like to see what you come up with. By the way, your new gloves look grand with your dress.


  17. Malene says:

    What a beautiful dress! Absolutely jaw-dropping! The color is very becoming on you 🙂

  18. Tilia says:

    The dress turned out beautiful, very vibrant! 🙂

    One of the other posts I mentioned making opera gloves yourself and I thought of you when I came across this pattern on Nehelenia Patterns: (The first pattern). It’s a German site too, so less shipping costs too. I’m thinking of buying it myself.


  19. Tilia says:

    Oh and which hand stitches did you use?

  20. Karin says:

    Amazing dress!!! It’s absolutely gorgeous, I love the material and the colour suits you so very well. You probably can’t wait to get to Bath in September 😉 Are you going to be at the Ball in the Assembly rooms there (on the 25th of September?). Dartie and I are going (but I’m afraid we will look quite plain next to you!!) Hope to see you there!

  21. Rebecca says:

    its beautiful Aurora!!!! I thought I would also let you know that in a resent post on my blog I posted a CDV from the american civil war time period and I thought the young lady in the picture had a similar face and resembled you somewhat. Do check it out! I thought it was like seeing a younger you! 🙂

    anyway I love love love the red dress and I also agree that the bow in the back is a great finishing touch!

  22. Aurora says:

    Thank you all! You are too sweet! 🙂

    Tilia – thanks for the link! That pattern seems fantastic! I want that! It would be really cool to make your own gloves! I shall have to try that one day… Thanks for letting me know about this, I really appreciate it!

    The stitches I used for the dress were mainly basic backstitches. I think I used that for nearly all the parts, save perhaps one or two.

    Thank you Karin! And indeed you are right, I can’t wait to go to Bath in September!! I’m so glad to hear that you have decided to go this year as well! I shall very much look forward to seeing you there!
    Oh so there is to be a ball in the Assembly Rooms?! I had somehow gotten the idea that there wasn’t going to be one this year. I am happy to be wrong! If there is one then I most certainly will try to go there!

    Rebecca – you are right, that girl does look like me! Very much actually! That’s so neat! I usually find it hard to see resemblances between myself and other people, but even I could see it here. 🙂 How fun, thanks for showing me!

  23. Karin says:

    Hi Aurora, the ball in september isn’t organised by the Jane Austen Centre, but by Farthingale’s. You can find more info here:

  24. Aurora says:

    Oooh, thank you Karin! I am so glad to hear that there will be a ball! And I shall most definitely do my utmost to be able to go to it! 😀

  25. Solomiyka says:

    Your gown is gorgeous!!

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  28. Jeanette says:

    Du är fantastisk Aurora. 🙂 Det är så roligt att få gå i samma klass som du på Tillskärarakademin.

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