Back then I was sane and I didn't consider...for long anyway...making my own dress. I went onto Etsy and found one for only $100. The seller would make it to my measurements. I bit.
But I started reading up on Regency clothing. You don't just wear a dress, you need underthings. A petticoat. A chemise. Stockings. At least! So I decided I could at least make a chemise. Thus began the Regency madness that has so far produced a chemise, stockings, stay, and petticoat. Of course, sometime in late March it became clear there would be no concert. But I was already on a mission.
Chemise: Simplicity 8579
Stockings: Jalie 2448, Altered
Petticoat: Laughing Moon
Stay: Redthreaded 1810-1830 Long and Short Stay
First I bought the wrong stay pattern--the Simplicity 8579 above that I used for my chemise. Late 1700s not 1810. Got to keep my centuries straight. I thought I could adjust it to get the 1800s look. I made a mockup and realized it was not happening. Then I returned to the Internets and found Redthreaded and a beautiful stay pattern for the 1810-1830s. It blows my mind sometimes what a myriad of niches are thriving that are either made possible by the Internet or made easily discoverable by the Internet. Anywho.
I made a muslin. Oh god these are work. Boning (zip ties) for the straight lines and spiral steel for the curved lines, the lacing, the busk. From the muslin, I had a rough idea that it would work, so I made the real thing. And it turned out pretty nicely.