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Make a Chatalaine

According to Susan Wildmuth, “Chatelaine is French for “mistress of the castle.” For years people have associated this decorative and useful waist-hung item with medieval times, but it’s an honest case of mistaken identity. Grandmother to the chatelaine, collectors called these early waist-hung items, with long chains holding keys to myriad places where precious items like spices, tea, and food stuffs were stored, by its proper name, equipage. The term chatelaine, in association with waist-hung items, did not come into use until the early 1800s during the late Regency period. Similar to equipage, a chatelaine was traditionally worn draped over or attached by a clip to a belt on the wearer’s waist, its long chains dangling about halfway down the length of her skirt. More than just a fashion accessory, its purpose was to organize useful household objects in an accessible fashion and was often given as a wedding present by a husband to his new bride.” To make this period reproduction of a Chatalaine, you will need 3 1/2 yards of 1 1/2″ wide ribbon, a needle, thread and scissors, a clip (such as a garter clip or keyring clip if you will have a loop on your outfit for it to fasten to) for attaching the ribbon to your gown and a selection of small sewing or household necessities, such as scissors, a needle case and a pin cusion. Many of these items can be made or bought in the notions section of a craft or department store. (more…)
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Create Your Own Regency Ensemble

This film was created for the 2007 Regency Exhibition Ball. Although historic accuracy is highly prized and sewing a wardrobe from a period pattern is the very best one can do to create a Regency period look, it is possible to take modern clothing and adapt it to give a historic feel—perfect for a Regency Ball. The Regency Exhibition Ball in Lansing, MI is an annual event. Visit their site for further information. Buy costume and patterns at our online giftshop! Click here. (more…)
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Sew a Walking Cloak

Beautiful, bright red walking cloaks were common countryside wear for several decades during extended Georgian era. Well-established garb by the onset of the Regency, they lasted well into the 1830s, although they were somewhat out of style by then. They were made of wool and often had large hoods. They remained the cold weather “coat” of choice– much warmer than the Spencer or Pelisse, which sought to take their place in fashionable society.* The Bennet sister’s cloaks in P&P2 were based on Diana Sperling’s entertaining illustrations of life in the country. Mrs. Hurst Dancing & Other Scenes from Regency Life 1812-23 This cloak pattern comes from Mike Horrill, at Aldebaran. It uses simple measurements to create an amazingly authentic cloak. If a more detailed pattern is to your liking, try Simplicity Pattern 5794. Walking Cloak Making Guide. The Semi-Circular Pattern. This pattern is a little more complex that the basic rectangular pattern but it does produce a very nice cloak without too much effort. I have used it to make three cloaks so far and will probably make more in the future. My favorite for this one is crushed velvet. Other than that I would recommend either cotton or poly-cotton. You can use pretty much any material but really cheap fabrics tend not to hang very well. Materials:- 4 yards of 60 inch wide fabric. Cotton. Some form of fastener. Tools:- Chalk for marking out. A length of string (5 ft). Sharp scissors. Pins. Sewing machine. You can sew this (more…)