As many of you probably know, this week was the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England. I had the privilege of participating in the festivities back in 2009, and had the most unbelievable time! You really felt like you had just stepped onto the set of Pride & Prejudice! For the months leading up to the event, I dreamed about what costume I would wear, and I was sure that I would have to make a reproduction of my favorite outfit that Lizzie Bennet wore in the ’95 A&E version of Pride & Prejudice.
This outfit was the one she wore in the opening shot where Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come riding along on their horses. It was a simple white day dress with a lovely blue-green jacket over the top. I love how the jackets from the Regency era had such flattering waistlines and detailed sleeves. And this particular jacket was no exception! With the multi layered sleeves, bust gathers, and scooped neckline, it is one of the most elegant Regency spencer jackets I have ever seen!
So in recreating this costume I used various pattern pieces from the Regency patterns available at http://www.sensibility.com/ , and drafted some of my own to arrive at a jacket that is nearly identical to the film version. The only noticeable difference (and I realized this after the fact), is that I should have gathered the very top sleeve (the pointed cap sleeve). If I ever wear it again some day I may rip out the sleeves, regather it, and sew it back into the armsceye. But I was in a great hurry when I was making this dress (I only started a few days before I was scheduled to leave for England), so all things considered I was very happy with how it turned out.
The Jane Austen Festival was an absolutely wonderful experience, with over four hundred people in complete Regency attire. You can read more about the experience on my blog, and if you are interested in visiting Bath England yourself, you will enjoy this website.