18th century

The Georgian dress

I needed a dress for the Bath Minuet Georgian Ball. I had a dress that was quickly sewn up last September for a ball but I was never really happy with it. So I decided to do a revamp!

This was the dress before…. it was meant to be 1790’s but I was wearing the wrong pair of stays. Everything was a bit bumpy and wrong.

I didn’t have enough material for a whole new bodice so had to adjust the original. The waist line is abit too high but I not have a very long torso anyway.

I chopped away the front closure to allow for a stomacher.

I also used a different pair of stays as well as created a new petticoat for body.

I experimented with different bum padding…

These ranged from side hip pads, full bum roll based on American Duchess pattern, as well as a pair of pocket hoops.

In the end I took my hip pads with me but ended up wearing the pocket hoops.

I experiment with different stomacher combinations for colour contrasts.

And in the end I went for the green with yellow ribbon decoration.

I added decoration on the skirt and around the bodice. This was done by crimping the fabric edges, then sewing along the fabric in a zigzag pattern which was then gathered.

This taught me that fabric will fray one way but not the other way, depending on which way it is cut along the grain. Thus some of the trim has frayed and and other have not (I’m going to redo the frayed trim now).

I made bows the stomacher as well as for decoration for my hair.

In the end I quite like the result and the over all outfit!

I used powder and pomade on my hair to recreate a hair style of the period. Love the volume! I commissioned a lovely hair feather from Jane Walton at Hats Period, it really finished of my outfit!

The overall look is more of an inspired by generic Georgian look than anything from a particular period.

Unfortunately as I rushed my pocket hoops and used plastic boning (I should of gone with my gut with metal). This meant during the night the hoops collapsed and went flat. I also didn’t righted the bottom of my stays so I got a little bend which can be seen on the skirts.

This project taught me a lot, especially what works and what does not. It has given me new trimming skills (everything with have bows on!!!).

I now will fix my mistakes and use what I have learnt for the future.

With every make we learn more and develop our skills!

Here’s a few pictures of the Ball,

Hope you have enjoyed this post,

Your sewing friend,

Miss Montagu

christmas · viking

Christmas makes

Now the Christmas period is over and all the presents have been given I can finally reveal what I have been working on over the last month!

One lovely mustard wool Viking hood

This was a all hand sewn construction using a soft medium weight mustard wool, which was lined with a thick linen.

The pattern based on the skjoldehamn hood from Norway.

The pattern was used a series of squares and rectangles. first I cut out one large square for the main body, this was then folded in two. Two smaller squares were cut out for the back and front panels.

The pattern was sewn as below with a spilt half way up the fold at the bottom of the large piece. A gap was left open for the face opening on one side.

A lining was added and sewn into place.The result was a simple but effective hood. The hood is surprisingly warm. The new owner is rather happy with the result! The side front and back squares give a nice point finish to the hood.

Over all I was really surprised how easy this project was. I might make myself one in the future! A really lovely piece to make.

I also made a simple cloak.

This was made of a thick green wool and was lined with a linen.

This cloak was made from one quarter of a circle piece then smaller segments. I would of used a semi circle pattern but due to my material I had to use a make up of smaller segments.

I like how this cloak hangs and should keep the wearer warm and dry.

Other Christmas presents I made this year was a set of pattern weights in a matching bag and a little needle book to complete the set.

For a few of my friends I made lots of little needle books that could be easily posted. Each one used different material for individuality.

I also made some cute little decorations for work colleagues. Little woollen bobble hats and Pom Pom peas!

I also made some pet paw balm using coconut oil, beeswax, olive oil and Shea butter. This was a little gift to help the family dogs paws from getting damaged by ice and salt.

This concludes this years Christmas’s makes, hope you enjoyed reading this little posts!

I will be doing a review blog post soon looking at top makes of 2017, as well as a post on inspiration and new projects for 2018, so keep an eye out!

So all I have left to say….


Thank you for all your support with my new blog over the past 6 months!

See you all in the new year!

Yours always, Miss Montagu


The purple and gold ballgown

This year the my favourite dress to make has been the purple and gold Regency ballgown.

I love it! It made me feel like a duchess!

It’s made from a purple silk, that is a double layered, with a striped underneath and embroidered gold little flowers.

I used Janet Arnold’s patterns of fashion as a guide and drafted my pattern from there.

I made a simple slip dress in a gold silk to go underneath. And this was worn over a laced edged chemise. The lace was pinned over to add decoration.

I edged the whole dress in a gold trim, to finish off and tie the dress together.

The dress has a little train which has ties underneath so it can be polonaised when dancing.

The dress closed using a button closure at the front. I added a brooch for decoration.

I loved wearing and making this dress!

For the Ball I rag curled my hair. I used LBCC cosmetics for setting my hair. This was a lovely clove pomade. I also used a rouge for the lips and cheeks. Burnt cloves for eyebrows and a scented white powder for face and hair. I’m in love with these historical cosmetics!

I also borrowed a lovely necklace made by the Gran of the delightful Miss Amy Coombes aka Dressing Miss Dashwood’s.

Promenading around the Bath pump rooms and the Roman Baths was beautiful and added to the whole experience!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post.

Please share if you want!

All the best,

Miss Montagu


Easy peasy: Pattern weights

As I can not share with you a few projects I’ve been working on as don’t want to spoil people’s Christmas presents! 

So instead I will share with you a easy 5 minute project: Pattern weights.

These are great. They hold down patterns when you are cutting out fabric, instead of needing to use pins.

They are a great way to use fabric scraps from previous sewing projects. Mine are made from scraps from a dress I made in summer. 

What you will need:

  • A rule
  • Fabric scraps rectangles (mine are 7inches by 4inches). I found this gave the best size.
  • Scissors
  • Rice (for the filling) 
  1. First cut out your pieces in the size as written above.

2. Next fold in half with the right side of the fabric facing in.

3. Sew down two sides to create a pocket. Clip corners then fold the right way around. 

4. Fill with rice. Pinch to form a triangle shape and fold in the edges of the opening.

5. Pin and slip stitch or running stitch shut.

6. Admire your finished pattern weight! 

I made 9 weights in total, all in matching material as well as made a bag to store them in from more spare dress scraps. 

Enjoy sewing! Hope you have found this useful!

I will be writing again soon. 

Until next time,

Love, Miss Montagu 


The Jane Austen Festivals best buys

When in Bath at the festival,there is one thing that everyone enjoys…. Shopping! 

One may spend all year designing and planning outfits and searching for accessories but the festival is just the place to pick a few things up.

Goodies from Bath!

This year I went a little ribbon crazy…. because you can’t have to much ribbon right?! 

There is plenty of ribbon on offer all around Bath. From the festival fayre,to the little craft shops which are dotted around the town. I think I might of visited them all! 

My ribbon hoard from Bath

My favourite had to be the ribbons from the V V Rouleaux. A tad expensive but worth it! Everything is just so gorgeous. From there I got some embroidered linen tape with lavenders, some stripy purple ribbon and some black silk tape. (Everything on the brown paper bag in the picture above). I could of spent much more! 

In contrast the little haberdashery in the guildhall market was great for finding a bargain! Here I got some green ribbon, black ribbon, as well as red and blue diamond ribbon. These all came to £2!!! 

From the festival Fayre my start but had to be my new purple top hat! From HatsPeriod! I’ve have been eyeing this hat up since march at TORM. I just had to have it! 

Gorgeous purple straw top hat by HatsPeriod.

It goes with everything! Makes a rather pretty riding outfit as well. I just love the colour, as it goes with many of my outfits which have purple in them. Just love it! 

I picked up two little antique paste buckles form the little antique centre. Can’t wait to wear them on a ribbon belt!

From the various museums such as the Holburne, Fashion museum as well as the Jane Austen centre I picked up many postcards. It’s my little traditon to pick up a postcard from every place I visit. 

Postcards and more postcards!

I also picked up some paper dolls and fashion plate paper I hope to decorate a screen with in the future.

Fashion plate wrapping paper from Baths Museums

My best surprise buy, had to be the material with the 18th century witch and pattern peices.this was brought from a little haberdashery next to the Masonic Hall. This will be made into a wall hanging for my sewing room. 

Witchy cotton wall hanging to be!

Of course no trip to the Bath Jane Austen festival would be complete without having your silhouette done. The wonderful Roving Artisit always amazes me with his skill!
Silhouettes! By the Roving Artist.

 Hope you have enjoyed my little shopping trip around Bath! 

Will be writing again very soon!

Yours faithfully,

Miss Montagu 


Festival fun! 

Just back from the Jane Austen festival 2017  in Bath.

Phew! What a busy 10 days of fun! But now it’s time to relax and reflect. I am now writing  more posts on particular items of clothing I produced for the festival. Also there will be posts on hot shopping finds, festival essentials as well as an ‘Spotted in Bath’.

The festival was a whirlwind of talks, plays, workshops, concerts and balls! It was great to experience, and of course no visit to Bath is complete without visiting the Fashion Museum! 

So here’s a sneak peak of my time in Bath: 

The week started with a country ball. Here my other half wears his waistcoat, fall front breeches and shirt I made for him to dance in. In the background I’m wearing a 1790’s green silk ball gown.
Using historical setting products, here I am setting my hair for the Ball using rags and pomade.
The finished Tartan dress. Here dressed for an mourning look with black accessories. I’m also wearing my chatelaine and new straw top hat.
My new top hat, went great with my green velvet pelisse.
Beautiful dresses and beautiful company! My lovely friends who traveled with me on my 2017 Jane Austen journey.
Here in my masked ball gown, I’m enjoying the swish of the train! Loved the purple silk and gold combination!

Hope you have enjoyed this little post,

There’s a lot more to come!

Until next time, all the best and thank you for reading,

Miss Montagu 


The Tartan dress

I saw this material in a shop in Dewsbury and had to make a dress out of it! 

It fitted my need for a more simpler day dress. I wanted something that was a bit more demure, and which could be suitable for someone coming out of mourning. 

I aimed for a gathered bib front, based  on a 1800 fashion plate (I will fine the fashion plate and add it later). Thus I want simple sleeves not the puff variety of the later Regency period. 

The construction was quite easy, as I used my trusted ‘Reconstructing History morning dress pattern’. This is a tried and tested pattern which I have altered to my shape and prefences. 

It was a dream to sew! The material was lovely, it being a thick cotton made for easy work. 

I had some issues with the skirt, as I forgot to added gathers in the front, which meant the skirt sides (where it overlaps) didn’t sit right. Thus after unpicking and restitching it laid how I want it to. The sleeves also may need further work, once I’ve made up my mind on them. (Look odd in the picture but look okay on). 

One thing for the future: improve my bias binding skills! 

I also made a matching reticule and head scarf for turban making. 

Overall I’m quite pleased with the result! The fit is lovely and will look gorgeous with a chemisette. 

Side view of the dress showing how the bib front ties and pins. The bodice may be a little to high in the back.
The gathered bib can be seen here more clearly. The sleeves also might need adjusting in the future

Hope you have enjoyed reading this weeks post.

Thank you for reading,

All the best,

Love Miss Montagu