Your Weekend Wow!

This time, an amazing bit of Regency cotton. I adore the stitching details – the closer you look the more you see! Hundreds of micro-pintucks on the bodice, arrow-straight, sewn into alternating directions and held in place by those tiny “stems” leading to fun little curlicues at their terminus. The cording treatment, or perhaps it’s trapunto work, on the collar. The broderie anglaise inserts on the back bodice. The pintucks and curlicues on the sleeve caps. And the cuffs are absolutely loaded: pintucks, curlicues, insert lace (also known as entre-deux, meaning “between [the] two”) and lace edging. Notice all the beautifully uniform hand stitches in the last photo. Plus, it’s – gasp – unlined! 100% Wow.

I love this spencer…too bad it wasn’t photographed on a darker background to make it easier to see. Who says cotton is boring? I’d like to see it done in a pale color and would wear it in a heartbeat! Click on the link for the museum website, where you can enlarge each photo to savor the details.

Spencer, 1805-1815. Probably British. Cotton. (

Spencer, 1805-1815. Probably British. Cotton. 1 (


Spencer, 1805-1815. Probably British. Cotton. 2


Spencer, 1805-1815. Probably British. Cotton. 3

Front collar – detail

Spencer, 1805-1815. Probably British. Cotton. 4

Front bodice detail


5 thoughts on “Your Weekend Wow!

      • I would love to know more about garment production during this era…there is still so much to learn. I’d be interested in what a quote would have been for this type of garment: yardage, time to produce, total cost including fittings.

        I find it curious that it’s not lined. I’d have thought that after investing all that time in those precise tucks the maker would have protected them with a lining. (I certainly would have.) Maybe it was meant for special occasion wear in warmest weather only, but wardrobes weren’t nearly as large as they are now and I can’t imagine a woman of even the landed gentry class owning a dozen spencers for every contingency.

        It’s a lovely piece, but for me it presents more questions than it answers.

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