Regency Nursing Gown Pattern
By Caroline Allen
The Sense and Sensibility Regency Gown Pattern has many alteration options, making it an extremely valuable purchase. The pattern doesn't itself include a nursing dress alteration. If you order it from www.newlittleblessing.com we have simple nursing alterations and instructions to go along with the pattern, with permission from Sense and Sensibility. This dress is my favorite nursing dress, because it is feminine, comfortable, and so easy to nurse in, yet you can't tell it is a nursing dress! The overlay goes over the bodice, and has a waistband on it that has a button on each side. You just unbutton, lift up the overlay, and there are your nursing slits!
For a short sleeve nursing dress you will need 3 ¾ yards. For a long sleeve nursing
dress you will need 4 ¼ yards. The fabric suggestions are Cotton, organdy, linen, challis, crepe, wool, silk, silk taffeta. For the lining it is recommended you use 100% cotton for comfort and durability. I have sewn this dress in cotton, and really like how it turns out. My friend just made a silk gown with the Regency pattern for a wedding, and used the nursing alterations on it. It turned out beautiful.
Assembling the Regency Gown
On this pattern it is an absolute must that you create a mock bodice first. I thought it would take up so much time, and it seemed difficult to me. I had a friend help me though, and realized it isn't difficult at all! It does take a bit more time than normal, but once you have that mock bodice you can do so many different things with a dress that fits correctly. To sew a nursing dress you need to purchase the Regency Gown pattern and the Regency Gown Neckline Supplement pattern to raise the neckline. Then you will create your mock bodice using the supplement pattern neckline. It is recommended that you lower the waistline 1-2 inches, so the waistline is not directly under your bust. When cutting out the dress you will want to shorten the length by several inches unless you are a very tall. To sew a nursing dress you will cut out two bodice front pieces, one lining piece, and one fashion fabric for the overlay. That's it!
The first time I started assembling the bodice it was difficult to see how the back went together. The easiest way is to pin the bodice at the top and bottom first, and than ease the curve in. Be careful when you sew that it all stays together, and doesn't bunch up underneath. When you get to view C that is when you are going to stop following the instructions as written, and use the instructions we include for a nursing dress. It is very easy to do!
At step number 3: the skirt, the pattern calls for a placket in the back. I don't do this. I simply skip this step and sew the skirt on the bodice as normal. The placket is to give you more room to get the dress on, but since you are lowering the waistline I have never had a need for it. Eliminating that step makes your sewing go easier and faster!
At step number 5: Finishing the Dress, it calls for buttonholes. I use a zipper instead as it makes it easier to put on without someone's help. The instructions say to hand hem. I have used a blind hem on my machine, and a 1" sewn hem, and both look fine in my opinion. It will vary depending on how fancy of a dress you are making.
Click Here to Order the Regency Gown pattern, with nursing overlay instructions
Caroline Allen and her sister Jennifer run a business together, New Little Blessing: "A Mother's General Store." The Regency Gown Pattern and Regency Gown Neckline Supplement Pattern's are available at her web site, www.newlittleblessing.com, along with a variety of other modest and lovely Maternity and Nursing clothes patterns. New Little Blessing also provides Pregnancy/Ovulation Test, Ring & Pouch Baby Slings, Ergo Baby Carriers, Books, SuperMom Vitamins, and more.