The elegant regency ball gown is a timeless classic. Utilizing a traditional design, this evening ball gown is a testament to a luxurious style. The multi layered gown perfectly accentuates our hand sewn beaded bridal lace fabric and creates a 3-D effect on the dress that's sure to turn heads. This project can help enhance your sewing ability and allow you to learn the art of conventional dress making.
We will begin this tutorial with how to make a Regency-style ball gown using a sheer beaded fabric with scalloped edges. If you are a beginner, these instructions can be adapted to make a solid-colored fabric dress. The gown has 3 layers that will be referred to as layers A (sheer bridal beaded fabric), B (chiffon interlining), and C (cotton voile lining) in the tutorial.
Note: Pattern B6074 View B from the Butterick Company is used as the basis of the pattern here, but there are many commercial patterns available for Regency dresses and modern formalwear that can use these techniques. (The dress labeled B in the center is the one being made).
1. For the bodice, cut out layers A, B, and C together as one for each
pattern piece, and baste the edges to hold them together. (The bodice
front and one sleeve is shown as an example).
2. Sew the front bodice piece to each back piece. Stitch the darts in
the front and back, with the number and size of the darts appropriate
to fit the curve of your bust and back.
3. Fold down the top edge of layers B and C, leaving the border of
layer A exposed, and slipstitch. Fold in the edges of the back where
the closure will be and slipstitch.
4. On each shoulder strap use slipstitching to finish layers B and C
that are next to the neckline. Leave the edges that will be attached
to the sleeve raw.
5. Sew the shoulder strap to the front and back pieces of the bodice,
forming the armhole opening.
6. Gather the curved edge of the sleeve piece into the armhole opening.
7. Sew the armband into a circle. Layers B and C will extend past the
edge of layer A because they will be folded in.
8. Gather the straight edge of the sleeve piece into the sleeve band and sew.
9. Fold the excess of layers B and C of the sleeve band inside the
sleeve and slipstitch.
10. Cut layers B and C of the skirt front and back together and sew up
each side seam. Cut a 12-inch long slit down the center back of layers
B and C.
11. Layer A will not have side seams if it is sheer. Fold layer A into
a tube and sew up the center back seam, leaving a 12-inch long opening
at the top.
12. Line up the 12-inch opening of all the layers
13.Then fold the raw edges inside the skirt and stitch down.
14. Gather all layers of the skirt as one and sew into the bottom of the bodice.
15. Add closures down the back of the opening (hooks and eyes or
buttons and loops).
16. Hem layers B and C by folding all raw edges inside the skirt and
stitching. Also bind or serge any remaining raw edges inside the
bodice and armhole.
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