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Article: Smocking: Regency Elasticity

Smocking: Regency Elasticity -

Smocking: Regency Elasticity

Elizabeth took up some needlework, and was sufficiently amused in attending to what passed between Darcy and his companion. The perpetual commendations of the lady either on his hand-writing, or on the evenness of his lines, or on the length of his letter, with the perfect unconcern with which her praises were received, formed a curious dialogue, and was exactly in unison with her opinion of each. -Pride and Prejudice
During the Regency the stitching style known as smocking became increasingly popular. Used for generations to add "stretch" and "elasticity" to garments, it provided yet another outlet for the creative seamstress to express herself. The following images, provided by Kass McGann of Reconstructing History, offer a visual tutorial for creating a Regency style smocked chemisette, like the one seen in the above fashion plate.    
Original photos and text © 2012 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Kass McGann is the owner and founder of Reconstructing History, a historical pattern supply company. Her expertise has led her to lecture on the subject of historical clothing in Ireland, England, the US and Australia. She has also published articles on specific items of historic dress as well as how-to guides for reenactors. Visit her site,, for an amazing array of patterns from many eras, including an extensive collection of Regency era patterns for both men and women.

1 comment

Beautiful! I have always liked smocking, but did not know that it was used as early as this. I will absolutley use this information for future outfits AND for some ideas for time-period needle lessons.



Sassy Countess

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