1810s Bib Front Regency Dress by Thimbles and Acorns
The years 1795 through 1820 saw a dramatic shift in women's clothing styles. The stiff courtly gowns that marked the earlier 18th century were discarded for simple peasant style dresses in the midst of the French Revolution as no one wanted to risk being associated with the French Aristocracy class. As the French Revolution subsided, Napoleon led a number of military campaigns to Italy, bringing back many statues and artifacts from Greco-Roman ruins. A revival of all things "classical" was stirred. The austere peasant dresses that marked the French Revolution were easily transformed to mimic the garments depicted on the Greek and Roman statues by raising the waistlines to just below the breasts. This distinctive characteristic would come to epitomize the Empire and Regency Periods.
The Bib-Front dress, also known as the Apron-Front, High Stomacher, Placket-Front, and Drop Front Dress, was one of the most popular styles of the Early Regency Period. Its simplicity, versatility, and built in support made it an ideal choice for both day dresses and evening gowns. Its popularity waned after 1813, but it remained in use until the end of the Regency Period in 1820.
This Pattern features a 1810 style Bib Front Regency gown with a front tab closure under the bib that sits just below the breast. The sleeves are gently gathered at the shouler with a unique gathered cut-out detail near the sleeve band.
I had my first real sewing lesson with my Grandma Switzer when I was about eight years old. After watching her in awe while she worked at her sewing machine, she helped me pick out a pattern for a doll that was just like I imagined Laura Ingall's doll Charlotte looked like. We then dug through her closet full of fabric scraps to find just the right pieces for the doll and several dresses. She ...
I had my first real sewing lesson with my Grandma Switzer when I was about eight years old. After watching her in awe while she worked at her sewing machine, she helped me pick out a pattern for a doll that was just like I imagined Laura Ingall's doll Charlotte looked like. We then dug through her closet full of fabric scraps to find just the right pieces for the doll and several dresses. She showed me how to lay out the pattern carefully, so as not to waste any fabric. Having grown up during the depression, “Waste not, want not” was more than and old adage to her. She taught me to make basic hand stitches and all my first projects were done by hand because “you needed to learn to sew by hand before you could learn to sew by machine you know”. I remember how amazing it was to see the odd shaped pieces transform into beautiful dresses right there in my hands. We spent many evenings together sewing dolls and dresses while watching “Little House on the Prairie” and much to Grandpa's dismay, Grandma and I would usually use the arm of the couch as a pincushion. He never appreciated getting an armful of pins when he would sit down to watch football, but he was a good Grandpa and insisted on getting me the entire set of Little House on the Prairie books for Christmas. Every couple of years I still pull out those books he gave me and read them again. These are some of my favorite memories of my grandma and grandpa and they are stitched into every dress I sew.