I need a gown for the Victorian Grand Ball, a day dress for a reenactment, and a tennis dress for a contest.
Actually the day dress is practically done... it just needs:
but that's a blog for another day.
To be honest, the ball gown was going to be a MUCH different dress. I was planning on making a dress from one of my favorite Tissot paintings. I have everything to make it... but the weather got hot, and I started thinking that dancing in long sleeves might be a new kind of hell... and opted out. Also, I found a dress on ebay that is so very lovely in it's simplicity, I just had to try my hand at it.
Isn't it lovely? I love how the watered silk makes the statement. I wore off white and gold to last years ball, and only white reads "wedding" to me... although I'm not so sure it did the victorians. Regardless... I couldn't find moire in white. In fact the only watered silk I could find were so expensive I was a bit shocked. I'm a budget costumer. I very rarely go over $20 a yard, and do my best to keep projects under $100. So I was about to give it all up and try to alter the Tissot idea so that the skirt was the same, but with a ball gown bodice, when I found a vintage length of rayon moire... 5 yards! $30. Although I'm a on a budget, fabric content is kinda a big deal to me. So a dilemma. I bought it... because a $30 dress?? and also, buying vintage fabric is good for the environment. Not really sure how... but yah, environment. Plus, it's red. :)
My finished dress:
It's a pretty dress... and I like it very much. I've ordered some ribbon to add to the shoulders in long bows... and a ribbon for lacing, both in red.
Next post I'll give you the pattern for the corded petticoat underneath. Also a tutorial for making double, and single piping, and some examples of early victorian ball gowns.