perjantai 8. helmikuuta 2013

1882 ball gown

There is a Victorian ball tomorrow evening at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm. This was such a rare opportunity that I couldn't pass it. So I needed a dress. The plan was to make an early 1880's ball gown and I wanted something with a subtle twist. The final plan was a mix of two dresses. Both can be found from De Gracieuse. They are also in the Fashions of the Gilded Age which is very convenient because that meant having some kind of pattern for every piece that I needed to make the dress. 

For the base skirt I used pattern of a third dress, also from FotGA and a year 1882. The train and bodice came from this dress.

And the skirt decoration came from this fashion plate. It's from an earlier date, 1879, but I thought that as long as the skirt shape is the very narrow early 1880's one, it's going to look up to date.

I have never particularly liked this fashion plate before, but now I was suddenly drawn to the quirkiness of the contrast between the ruffled side and the smooth shirred side.

The dress is made from pale pink and white iridescent duchess silk satin and silk tulle. The skirt and bodice are flatlined with cotton. The skirt and train hems are faced with heavier quality cotton. The back panel of the skirt, invisible under the train, is just one layer of cotton. All seams are machine sewn. The rest is sewn by hand. I'm wearing it over my new corset and chemise and one cotton petticoat.

The satin shows through nicely from under the tulle in daylight, but it is a ball gown and is supposed to be worn indoors with dimmer lighting. It looses some of the effect in those conditions but I think it's still ok. (The train is wrinkly from being wet from all the melted snow.)

I started making the appropriate evening gloves, but I underestimated how long it would take me to finish them and I didn't want to spend my last night home before the trip sewing. My husband saved me by bringing me a pair of vintage gloves. Fortunately they fitted me perfectly.


The three front panels of the skirt were finished before they were attached to the back panel and train.

Fronts before trimming.

Finished fronts.

The cotton back panel was just hemmed and a drawstring was added in knee hight to hold the fronts back when the dress is worn.

The train is also flatlined and faced around all edges. The few points to lift portions of the train are stitched to the skirt back panel.

The bodice is done the usual way. This time I made it deliberately an inch or so larger than usual. I expect to dance a lot in it and want to be comfortable doing so. It's flatlined, boned on every seam and has piping and facing around all edges except center back edges that are faced with cotton twill.