Regency women were lucky not to have their body shape contorted by waist pinching corsets, such as the early Georgians and later the Victorians wore:
|Victorian corsets change the shape of the body using whale bone, metal clasps and lacing to bind the body.|
|Regency short stays leave the rest of the body free, and elevate the breasts.|
Having limited time and not being massively committed to period accuracy, I shall substitute... a push up bra!! Similar effect, much less effort!
Next up is the chemise; in layman's terms, a full length slip. Its job was threefold; first, to provide opacity, so that you couldn't see through the thin muslin dresses.
Second, to protect these exquisite dresses from sweat and body odour. The chemises can be laundered more frequently than the the delicate dresses, as they are made of sturdier fabric.
|This picture is from the fabulous blog Before the Automobile.|
I'm going to make a full length chemise with a see through lace dress over the top.
|This is a modern recreation for sale in an etsy shop here for just over £200.|
These two pictures are my inspiration dresses, both very low cut, and short sleeved. Long sleeves were for day wear apparently! Poor freezing Regency Ladies; many women unsurprisingly got pneumonia wearing such thin gowns.
|Period dress from 1809 owned by Empress Josephine.|
The dresses both feature a solid colour underneath with delicate white-work lace on top. So this is the aim; now I just have to draft an approximation of the designs! I think I might have my dress the other way around - a white under-layer and a coloured lace on top.
Really beginning to enjoy this now...