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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Inspiration · Regency Sleeveless Spencer

If you've been following my Pinterest board, you might have noticed a recent influx of sleeveless Regency spencers.  Next month we'll be attending a 19th century ball, and what better excuse is there to whip up something new to wear??  This year is busy enough not to allow time for an entirely new outfit, but since I already have an appropriate white gown, all that is needed are some new accessories. ;-)

I've been rather fond of the idea of sleeveless spencers over the past few years, and we have some very lovely velvet scraps that would be just the thing!  I'm so thankful for Pinterest- so many "Sleeveless Regency Spencer" boards just a click away. ;-)  The downside.... I can't find solid information on many of the pictures. :-/

But for now, here's a compilation of some of my current ideas:

Jean-Francois Soiron, 1799
This is a good example of essentially what I'm hoping to achieve. Although I'm aiming for something a bit less plain. ;-)

Too late for my dress- just including this one for velvet-bodice evidence!

Costume Parisien, 71 - Turban and Spencer a L'algerienne
The trim on the back is such a very fun idea!

(I'm not sure why this one got so pixelated....)

Norsk Folkemuseum (Norway) item NF.1959-0070 1815, silk bodice

I love, love, love the decoration on this bodice.  Perfection!  The only thing that gives me pause is the fact that it might be more of folk-costume attire, given the museum it's from?  At any rate, I think it's too late of a style for my dress...

Centre de Documentació i Museu Tèxtil - 1795-1808

This bodice, though sleeved, is just so lovely!  The sequined embroidery is a fun touch, and I really like the trim on all the seamlines. (as an aside- I can't quite figure out that closure.  Seems odd.)

London Full Dresses, Jan. 1800
Museum of London
This is one of my very favorites.  The peplum effect is very fetching- I think I'll be going that route. :-)

I'm liking the interest added with the zig-zag hem, and I think it would tie in nicely with the vandyked trim I have on my dress.  However, I have doubts that my velvet would cooperate well- I think I would need to use a fabric that presses better.

Silk bodice, Met Museum
I really love this one!  The trim around the neckline is nice, and I love the peplum! :-)

The spencer is still in the planning stages so far, but I can't wait to dive in! :-)


  1. This is great research! I have seen sleeveless spencers here and there in paintings, but never really collectively looked at the concept as a whole. Thanks for sharing your pinboard!

  2. Oh! The idea of a peplumed spencer sounds lovely! And in velvet too... Can't wait to see what you end up making.

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  3. Funny you should be starting a sleeveless spencer! I just posted about the one I made last summer! Lol! Funny how that works. ;) Happy sewing!

    Sarah G

  4. That is funny! Must be something in the air today... ;-) I love your spencer- it was just the right touch for your dress!

  5. I like that sequined spencer is has a slit from the neck to halfway down the back and is spiral laced shut with a piece of the trim. Love your blog!




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