Hi, rental of 1812 dresses are limited and sorry I can't help you there. I do sew period costumes and have patterns, I have a day bonnet on hand but that is all. I live in the Thousand Islands area so if you are interested and you don't need the costume in the next week or so I can assist you.
It all depends on how much you want to wear it, Marianne. Renting is a great option if you only want to wear it once. Otherwise, it gets expensive. The Alliance does have some dresses, as you know, for rent.
If you enjoy sewing, Regency dresses are pretty easy to do - as the crazy collection I appear to be amassing at home attests. For pattern reviews and ideas, this site can be pretty helpful.
There are lot's of great seamstresses in Eastern Ontario (and Western Quebec) who would be happy to sew you a dress, such as M Thomlison below here.
We bought a few from Smoke & Fire last year and found the quality to be great. Their price point has been the best so far. These aren't fancy gowns, though, but nice dresses. Sturdy, custom and lined in the bodice.
One item oft overlooked that is a must - a corset. The body shape was different during the Regency period, and sorry to be crass, but we were more uplifted. I have tried to make three different patterns myself and haven't succeeded. I finally bought from the supplier linked above here and love them.
As for bonnets, you can reappropriate a straw hat. I cannot for the life of me find the site of our supplier for straw poke bonnets, but I recently dressed mine with plumes and it looks lovely, if I may say so myself. Of course, if you can splurge, Ruth Mills can make anything you've ever dreamed of from a fashion plate. Dames a la Mode also does some nice bonnets at a reasonable rate - I have one of hers as well.
Shoes, a simple pair of MaryJane Flats will suffice. Period shoes can be less comfortable and a lot more expensive. You have a few options if you must go that way. Robert Land is in Canada, but it can take a long time as he is very busy. I have a pair of his and like them. American Duchess used to have a slipper - I have those too, but haven't quite broken them in. For dancing, I also have ballet flats. Jas Townsend seems to have a pair of ladies shoes too, although, I can't say anything about those.
Seems to me someone should host another costume workshop... someone? Anyone? If only there was time.
Hi Alicia. As previously mentioned, I have found someone to make me a dress and bonnet. I was wondering about something for Robert. Since he already has a very lovely (and expensive) kilt, plus socks, sporan etc., I was wondering what sort of shirt, cravat, and jacket I should get made for him. He wants to be dressed as a Scottish settler in 1812. Any suggestions or photos you could pass along? Thanks.
Members can now get in touch with me directly for custom made
costumes and accessories. I am easy to contact via my website
I do know someone who could help, but she lives in Almonte. She is a very experienced costume designer. I would contact her: www.ingridharris.ca
Hi, as a historical costume designer I draft all patterns myself and am not familiar with what is commercially available. I can make patterns to specific measurements.