While we where both styled to our teeth, we also took a few shots together, me and my sister.
Photos/filming: Elin Evaldsdotter
The week before the ball my sister came over to do the final fitting and to take some photos.
She is wearing her new green corset, orange cage crinoline, petticoat and 2 pieced gown. Accessorized with black gloves, black lace-fan, a black velvet bag, silver tiara and necklace. She is also wearing a chemise, stockings, bloomers and dancing shoes.
Video of the gown in motion (shaky mobile video – sorry)
For the upcoming ball, hosted by my dancing company, I knew I wanted a new gown.
After several hours on Pinterest, looking through dossins of beautiful fashion plates, I finally decided on a style.
Since time was sparce, I decided to use Simplicity 4055 instead of draping my own pattern.This may now be the pattern I made most garments from (my yellow regency gown, brown spencer/west, my sisters greecian goodes dress, and now this white evening gown).
I started by mocking-up the lining to get a foundation to build the rest of the dress.The neckline needed to be lowered a bit. It is after all a ball, and if there is ever a time to show some cleavage a ball must most definitely be it.
Then I cut the fashion fabric, making sure to get enough fabric into the front piece to get some nice gathering. I stitched the bodice together and basted it into the interlining before I gathered the front.
Then it was time for the next try on.
The bodice fitted pretty good, and the wrinkles at the back comes from my boyfriends pinning me into it (sch, don’t tell him), and not from the back being to small as you would think.
And once again I needed to get help being pinned into the dress (see why I will never say anything about less then perfect pinning…)
Since I didn’t had time to get hold of a long enough red ribbon to tie around the neck, crossed in back and under bust as in the fashion plate, I experimented wit a shorter red ribbon tied under bust.
I finished by attaching the sleeves, hemming the skirt and attaching the hook and eyes at center back.
I also decided to stitch on a ribbon under bust made from the same fabric – something I did at the location of the ball, just before getting dressed.
Just the Facts:
Challenge: nr 21 – Re-do. I choose to re-do challenge nr 9 – Black and White.
What: A white regency (year 1805) evening gown.
Pattern: I started with Simplicity 4055, but made quite a few changes to it.
Fabric: 3 m of white striped cotton voile from IKEA curtains. 0,5 m of white cotton for lining and interning.
Notions: Thread and 4 pair of hook and eyes.
How historical accurate: So so. The dress looks pretty good and the pattern are pretty authentic, but the construction are all modern with seing machine and bag lining. I would say about 6/10.
Time: I rushed the entire dress (starting only two nights before the ball) working the evenings after work, so I would say about 8 hours.
Cost: About 150 Sek (22 Usd)
First Worn: nov 8, to a Regency ball.
Final Thoughts: I really like it. The fit is good, and the dress looks both delicate and cool at the same time.
My only regret was not to have the time to make/buy the burgundy fabric/shawl that was to be draped across the shoulders and tied below the bust, as in the fashion plate.
In my last post I told you about my trouble with the pattern for my opera gown. Now I will tell you about the sewing and construction of it, and also show you the finished gown (bodice and train only).
I recently learnt a new trick, on how to sew darts on fabric and interlinning which I wanted to try. You simply baste the layers close to the darts, then sew inside the dart, very close to the original sewing-line.
This way you can easy get a nice looking dart without any bulk, and the stiching won’t show once the dart is sewn.
Hm, not great. Some changes are needed. Like taking the armhole and shoulder seams in a bit. I also need to re-shape the front a bit, and make the neck opening a bit lower and bigger.
The buttonholes took about 3 hours (guess I’ve becoming faster), and when finished I sewed on the buttons. I’m really pleased with the way the front bodice looks, and are happy I took the time and money to buy 5 extra buttons.
Then I once again got dressed to try it on.
And even though it fit much better now, it still needed to be reduced a bit at the shoulders.
Then I started on the back pleats. Using the pattern as a guide and treating the two layers (fabric and lining) as one, box-pleating the three back seams.I then attached the pleats to the bodice sewing into the interling by hand.
Heming the train would have been an easy step, if I’ve cut the lining long enough. But no, I had to skrimp on the fabric, leaving me no other choise but to piece the train (using scraps) to the desired lengt.
When the bodice was finished I brought out the fabric I saved for the apron, and got to work draping it on the dressform.
I also decided the dress needed some more decoration. And finding this fringe trim the day before the bal caused me to re-visit the sewing machine, and using 8 m of it on the hem of the bodice, train and apron. (And since this was a last minute change, I haven’t got any picture of the trimmed dressed).
Even with the dress finished I’m not totaly happy with the neckline – the fabric is being pulled in some ugly directions at the neck, caused by some fiting trouble.But It is to late to do anything about it now, and the bal room will be faily dark…
Train draped leaving the sides straight/down, and then with sides tied up.
What: A 1880s trained evening bodice.
Pattern: Truly Victorian 462 (totaly re-modeled)
Fabric: 6 m golden polyester brocade, 4 m ivory cotton lining, 0,5 m ivory cotton twill for interlining.
Notions: Thread, buttonhole thread, 15 buttons (which I covered in fabric), 2 m string for piping, 3 m string for busteling/draping the train, 8 plastic cable ties for boning, 2 m self made cotton bias tape for boning chanels, 8 m brown fringe trim.
Time: 25 hours
Cost: About 800 Sek (120 Usd)
Things I would do Different: I would definitely have draped my own pattern, and taken the time to do multiple mock-ups to get the fit over the shoulders and neck just right. I will also have changed the lines of the side/back piece which curved shape now causes it to pull a bit. And re-placed the straight boning with spiral boning in the curved side/back seam, for the same puporse.
Final Thoughts: I love the dress. I think it is cool yet elegant and I did get lots of compliments on it at the bal. The unusal neckline makes it so interesting and viasualy pleasing.
I would love to wear it again – perhaps at a steampunk convention, paired with brown throusers and some cool accessories.
I had some difficulties figuring out what to make for the HSF Challenge 14 – Eastern Influences. I didn’t want to start a too big project, being so busy with the Titanic dresses at this time.
After much hesitation and changing my mind I finally decided to use the 1,5 m of light pistage-colored organdy already waiting in the stash. It is covered in a geometrical pattern in the shape of 4cm big grecian keys. So perfect for the challenge. But I’m not much of a print person, and feared that the geometrical pattern would be too obvious, too silly or just simply destroy whatever I made from it.
Ok, fears aside – what exactly was I going to make with it (that wouldn’t look costumy or silly)?
I had not enough fabric for a regency-dress, and the fabric was not suitable for anything heavy like a round skirt or a stiff bodice. What to do?
The answer fell on me when searching the internet for inspiration for another project.
A Titanic era evening-gown. It seemed perfect, and already being totally emgrossed by the early 20th century I didn’t hesitate.
I quickly made some sketches and played around a bit with the fabric on my dressform to get the basic shapes and cuts figured out.
Then I started drafting the pattern. I wanted a cross-over bodice with a short kimono-sleeve attached to a draped skirt. The bodice was a bit tricky and I decided to try the paper pattern on my dressform before cutting a toile. That impuls saved me making a useless mock-up.
I tried but could not get the pattern and the dressform to co-operate, so I scratched the paper pattern and instead draped a bodice on the form. So much better.
I then did the mock-up, tried it on and pinned all the necessary alterations. (It is not easy trying and fitting a back-closed mock-up by your self).
Since the organdy is so sheer I needed to make some foundation underneat – both for modesty and to get the right support and shape. I used the the same white skirt as for my late Titanic dress, and drafted a strapless dress-bodice to attach the organdy-bodice on.
Then it was time to cut the fabric. I sewed the foundation bodice and tried it on, then I stitched the organdy and draped the skirt on the dressform.
Everything went together fine and I just needed to make some minor alterations on the waist and shoulders. I tried the dress on and really liked it, but felt like something was missing.
I rummaged around a bit for a suitable waist-sash, but neither white nor pistage seemed right. Then I found the vine colored sash for my sisters Titanic-rose dress, and it was perfect. So I used whatever leftovers I had and made another dark red sash.
The finished dress.
And the dress being worn.
Just the facts:
Challenge 14: Eastern Influences.
What: A 1912 evening dress.
Pattern: None, I draped my own.
Fabric: 1,5 m polyester organdy, 0,3 m white cotton voile and 0,5 m white cotton sheets for lining and interlining the bodice. And 0,2 m vine colored viscose for the sash.
Notions: Thread, plastic boning, hooks and eyes and snaps.
Historical accuracy: There are way too much polyester in it to be any good. But I think the look and the overall feel of the dress is right. And according to Arnold they did use foundation-bodices beneath sheer and slippery fabrics. Maybe 6/10.
Time: 15 hours (made it in a two days speedrush).
Cost: 100 SEK (11 Euro).
First worn: On the photoshoot July 5.
Nostalgic musings, on historical clothing, traditional costume, fantasy, photography and history.
Historical lifestyle blog and clothing store
an exploration of historical costume
The trials and tribulations of an over-enthusiastic seamstress learning to create period-correct historical items and fashions
Make your own history
Regency & Historical Needlework.
My life in stitches - adventures in the world of costuming...