A Cherry Blossom part 3 – Evening Gown

So, when I finished the Traveling suit (and underwear) for the school project back in 2010, I decided to also make a balgown for my caracter (Anja in “The Cherry Orchade”).

I found this pretty gown on the internet and used it for inspiration.far1

balklänning produktteckningTechnical drawing of the gown.

Anja-BalklänningAnd my costume design sketch.

I bought a white lightweight cotton fabric and some grey lace, and began the sewing.

This was way before I started doing historical costume so the pattern making and construction are all totaly modern. I just did what I could to make it look historical. The costume is a two piece – skirt and bodice, with additional costume pieces added at the end of the proces to make it look even more historical.

The skirt is made out of three pieces (front, side and back), where the front is draped to the lace-covered side piece.

kjol fram kjol bak

It closes with snaps at the side, hidden behind the lace.kjol knäppning öppen

The bodice is laced up the back using gromets, and are stiffened with bones in every seam. It also have decorative stripes of lace, and a smal peplum at the back.

liv framliv sidan

liv bak

The night before my sister was coming for the photoshoot, I decided to use the last pieces of fabric to make a seperate draping to hide the bustle beneath the way to see-through skirt. I also made a bow of the lace and added it to the back for contrast.

Then I dressed my sister in the gown and had her model it.













DSC_0278And a silly shoot.

Considering my very limited knowledge of historical clothes at the time, I think I manadged petty good with both the underwear, traveling suit and the balgown. But there are some things I would defenetly change if she would ever whant wear one of these costumes again.

A Cherry Blossom part 2 – Traveling Suit

When the underwear was finished (A Cherry Blossom part 1) It was time to move on to the “real” garmnents.

I decided to make traveling outfit for the caracter of Anja. She and her family rides the train to get to their country estate, and I thougt it would be fun to create a ensamble to wear while traveling.

blusA design sketch of the shirt.

blus o hatt produktteckningAnd a construction drawing of the shirt and hat, including fabric notes and details.

I used a nice cotton satin for the shirt and did pintucks, buttonclouser and lace decoration. Blus stråveck (2)

blus fram hängandesThe finished shirt.

I also bought some modeling clay (cenitlera) and sculpted some bees for the bee-broch being mentioned in the play.bi-brosch i lera

For headwear I bought a hat on an online auction.hatt innan

Which I sprayed with silver paint and decorated with ribbons, lace and feathers.hatt silver omonterad

Then I continued with the outer layer of the costume.Resdräkt

resdräkt produktteckningConstruction sketch with fabric and stiching notes.

I drafted the pattern on my own, and used a purple cotton twill for the skirt and jacket.tillklippningCutting the pieces.

Then I decorated them with silver lace and buttons.

kjol fram kjol bak

jacka fram jacka bak

resdräkt hängandes

And then I asked my sitster to model the clothes.DSC_0071(She is wearing the shift, corset and bustle from my last post underneath.)










CIMG4110And a silly shoot.

Anja-ResedräktMy final costume design.

This outfit would be more than enough to conclude the shool project. But since I’m a bit of an over-achiver (if you haven’t noticed), I also decided to make a balgown for the caracter (which I will tell you about next time).

A Cherry Blossom part 1 – Underwear

A couple of years ago I attended a class in “costume design”, and one of the plays we got to work with was The Cherry Orchard by Anton Tjeckov. The play is set in the late 19th/early20th century russia, and are about a familys last days on their recently sold country estate.


We where asked to choose one caracter to design a costume to fitt the narrative of the play. I picked the caracter of “Anja”, a young debutant who dreams of love and a fairytale lifestyle.

I decided to make the costume from the inside out (being me, I couldn’t just do one dress…).

I started by deciding the underwear, doing a principle sketch combined with a lists of material and notions.korsett, turnyr, chemise produktteckningA corset, bustle and chemise.

korsett, chemiseAnd a costume sketch.

I started by making the chemise, in a soft cotton voile and decorated it with some lace. I used a free download pattern from the internet (which I unfortanly have lost the link to). chemise 1

Then I moved on to the bustle. turnyr tillverkningskittWith only pictures of bustles and no pattern I tried to draft my own, resulting in a pretty good shape – but probably not the easyest way to do it.

turnyr inutiInside of the bustle. You can se all the seamlines and the boning chanels.

turnyr stängdturnyr ovanfrån 2

Then it was time for the corset. I used Jill Salens pattern for “Pretty Housmaid corset” 1880s, which I enlarged using the computor and printer.

I cut the pieces in a lovely cotton sateen.Korsett tillklippning

The cording took  quite a while (it was my first time doing it).korsett helt cordat

I sewed it together, inserted busk, bones, gromets and then attached bias tape and lace. korsett divCreative mess.

korsett sidanDetail flossing.

korsett fram

I asked my sister to model the garmnents.CIMG3990




1My favourite costume picture ever.

So now the underwear was ready, it was time to start on the dress.

But that will have to wait untill next post.