Historical Inspiration Festival – Regency Ensemble for an American Girl Doll

Story of A Seamstress is hosting a Historical Inspiration Costume Festival.  She has kindly invited doll costumers to participate – so I’m putting up a couple of of my ‘historically inspired’ outfits!

Introducing Jane:

An American Girl Doll wears a regency ensemble of a floral dress, a purple silk spencer and a dark purple bonnet.

Jane was inspired by two specific items of clothing:Elizabeth Bennet’s scrunchy bonnet from the 1995 A&E production of Pride and Prejudice:

Elizabeth Bennet looks at the camera. She is wearing a brown spencer and a scrunchy brown bonnet,

and Anne Elliot’s spencer jacket from the 1995 made-for-television adaptation of Persuasion:

A regency couple are kissing. Over her white gown, the woman wears a spencer jacket with a flared peplum.

(A note from Future Tabubilgirl: This was one of my first historical costumes for the American Girl doll, and it is definitely “historical inspiration’ rather than truly accurate to the period. This ensemble goes back to before the explosion of good historical sewing patterns from 18 inch dolls, back when the Pleasant Company historical pattern set (you can find the patterns here for free download!) was the only “authentic’ historical pattern source out there ! This outfit was the result of a lot of creative problem solving and I am very proud of it.)

Side view of an American Girl doll wearing a regency ensemble consisting of a floral gown, spencer jacket and scrunchy bonnet.

The dress is sewn in cotton voile, based off of the Pleasant Company Josefina patterns.  The spencer jacket and the bonnet I drafted myself, and sewed in silk shantung.  A small gold-and- swarovski crystal turtle pin is fastened to the bodice of the jacket. The sleeves of the spencer are not strictly period; this was the first historical pattern that I drafted for myself – before I’d begun to study historical fashion styles. I quite like the small detail on the back of the spencer jacket- hematite ‘buttons’ to fasten down a flare in the silk.

Close up view of an American Girl doll wearing a historically inspired regency spencer with a flared peplum

The bonnets is gathered along three rows of wire, pulling it in for a delightful scrunchy look. I didn’t have access to millinery wire at the time – and the wire is spool wire from the hardware store, and the deformations in the wire certainly add to the scronch!

Thank you for inviting me to join the Historical Inspiration Festival!

An american girl doll wears a purple silk spencer jacket and a historically inspired dark purple bonnet.

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