Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - A Stitch in Time

1885 Philadelphia Museum of Art - Day Gown Ensemble
Is this not a wonderfully charming Day Gown?  There was not a lot of information available, so if I was going to guess, I might think Winter White Wool for the fabric.  However, what really caught my eye was the embroidery on the bodice and apron.  Most sewing machines today come with some, if not several, decorative stitches.  How easy would it be to incorporate some machine embroidery into your next gown creation?  If you did not want to embroider directly, think about utilizing "strips" of fabric and embroidering them, then sewing them into the gown.  Look at the apron sides and hemline, that looks exactly like what is going on here!  Most machines now allow you to scan an embroidery pattern into your sewing machine or simply download it for processing.  Finding something elegant along these lines would be pretty easy to set up.  Then take a co-ordinated ribbon, and stitch it onto the foundation skirt to form a pleated trimming to give your ensemble that finished look!  Easy and simple design details for your consideration!  Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Burda Bodice - Beauty and the Beast

Okay, so we are onto the Bodice Construction segment.  To reiterate, this is the Burda 7880 pattern, stated at an "Intermediate to Advance" sewing skills level.  I have already reviewed the foundation skirt, apron/bustle, dye techniques, shopping for fabrics, plus within each segment are short "tips" from my experience while sewing these garments.  I knew I wanted a Victorian bodice pattern that allowed for individual inserts in the front and back of the bodice.  So, I understood going in that there would be more pattern pieces than some of the other patterns I had used.  I also included the recommended interfacing for added stability for some of the pieces, then I cut "overlays" to give me the color contrasts for some of the inserts.  Lastly, I like my bodices to be lined, so I added lining as well.  That said, the bodice pattern originally calls for twelve (12) pattern pieces plus four (4) interfacing pieces.  Doubled brings you to twenty-eight (28) pieces, as not all pattern pieces are doubled, such as the collar.  From there I added the lining, for an additional fourteen (14) pieces.  Lastly, I added eight (8) pieces of plum silk overlay for color contrast.  Leaving me with a grand total of fifty (50) working pieces.  Yes, I added a lot more to what is intended in this pattern.  But, if I am going to spend my time, effort, and money, it might as well be exactly what I want it to be.
Cutting Fabric: So, first step was setting up the fabric for cutting.  I knew I was going to be working with at least three layers most of the time, and sometimes four layers with the interfacing.  I placed my fashion fabric on top of my lining fabric for the first cutting.  From there I placed only those pieces I wanted to use for the contrasted silk overlay fabric that I needed, as well as the four pieces I needed for the interfacing, so I was only cutting once or twice to save time and effort.  Very sharp scissors are a must for this. 
Lining: The pattern does not include lining, so I will start there.  Front bodice has eight parts and the back bodice has six parts, not counting the two parts of each sleeve for a total of four, two cuffs, one collar, or the peplum pieces.  I only lined the body part of the bodice.  I thought about flat lining, but the peplum was not going allow that in my opinion.  So,  modified bag lining came into play. 

Construction:  I started by laying all the cut pieces in stacks, so as not to get confused.  I also would focus on one fabric at a time.  I layed all the pieces out to see how they all fit together, so I could begin to visualize the finished product.  From there I began with the the interfaced pieces, next onto the overlay pieces.  I opted to overlay the plum silk as it was not strong enough against the raisin cotton by itself.  I pretty much just "flat lined" the overlay to the outside of the fashion fabric, so I had the strength of the underlying cotton fabric, but the contrasted color overlay I wanted.  From this point, proper bodice construction commenced.  I love how a seemingly flat piece of fabric can develop into such a curvular (I made that word up - lol) look!  Taking it from a one dimension to a three-dimensional plane.  Things moved well for the bodice proper.  The sleeves are two pieced with a slight curve, they are strongly "left" and "right" or they do not hang properly nor fit properly.  Pattern states to "gather", but in the future, I might consider a small box-pleat just at the sleeve head to see how it might look. 
Next, was the peplum.  I still laugh just thinking about that part.  In the cutting section, it states "x1" or one piece, but in the instructions, it states "doubled", and it certainly needs to be doubled, so just cut two when you are cutting.  Once I got the pleats in, I did opt to sew halfway down the sides of each pleat to help hold the pleats in place.  After all that time and effort trying to get the pleats to lineup properly to each other plus lineup to the bodice pieces, I wanted those pleats to be beautiful for forever!  Prior bodice construction is going to really help you with this one, just go slow, read the instructions repeatedly, and worse case - walkaway and come back.  Gives your mind some time to process.

The bag lining was just like making an entirely separate bodice, but without the sleeves.  The entire lining piece, once constructed, had to be sewn into place.  The only line that was machine sewn, was the bottom hem edge, everything else was handsewn into place, as I did not want the stitching to ruin the front of the outer fashion fabric. 
Finishing Touches:  I used some  vintage black beaded Victorian trim on the cuffs, vintage lace collar, vintage lace chemisette (optional wear), eighteen buttons, one inch black satin box pleated trim, one inch knife pleated silk trim at cuffs, and I used a decorative sewing stitch on the bodice front edge seams.  I had modified this piece.  I shortened it into a low square neck, instead of the high-neckline the pattern showed. 

Conclusion:  After all was said and done, the bodice fit almost perfectly.  I had to take one inch in at the waist.  I will probably make this one again some time in the future.  (I am already onto my next project.)  I very much like the overall finished look of the ensemble.  I am proud I persevered and took this "50 Piece Beast" and turned it into such a "Beauty".   Enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - 1893 Worth

This Gown was making the rounds on Pinterest last week.  I am always on the look-out for new Worth Gowns that I have not yet seen, and this one is a beauty!  Aside from all the well-known museum collections of Worth gowns, every once in a while one will pop up from an unexpected location.  There are still so many designer vintage gowns in private collections that the public has yet to see.  I have saved pictures of Worth gowns that came up for sale from private sellers, going to private sellers.  So, those photos of those gowns will never be available until the next time that gown is sold, and that might be decades before that gown surfaces again!  That is the hunt for inspiration!   Enjoy
1893 Worth Ballgown

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Everyday I'm Bustling! Apron/Bustle Combination

Okay, well we are on to the Apron/Bustle Combination.  The fabric for this piece was reviewed in my prior post "Just Dyeing to Try It", about how I used a distressed silk wedding gown and went with a successful dye job from White to "Plum"!  I knew when I picked up the wedding gown that I was going to use the skirt portion of the gown for the apron/bustle.  I was able to cut the train of the gown down, so the back length is 29" (longer over the bustle pad) and the front length is 25".   There were four yards of fabric at the waist after I removed all the existing stitching.  I had to gather it back up to fit me and keep the front a "gather free zone".  I have tried the loose baste machine stitch, I have done the hand-stitched "rock & roll" gather stitch, I have done the "machine baste in segments" stitching, and none of those work as easy as this loose "zig-zig" with a contrasted thread down the center.  All the other efforts, I would break a thread here and there and it would just drive me crazy.  This zig-zag setup is fast, effective, and the threads will not break on you!  Once I got the fabric gathered as I wanted, I pinned it to the set-in waistband, and finished sewing that all together.  Add on the H&E, and I was almost done!  

For this piece I did not use a pattern.  I played around with the fabric until I got the look I wanted, which was based on a Victorian Fashion Plate.  I added 3-4 knife pleats on both sides of the back opening, plus some horizontal pleats down the sides where the ties were going to be.  The faille silk has an incredible drape and hand to the fabric.  Not as stiff as a Taffeta, but not as drapey as a crepe de chine.  The fabric is still a light-to-medium weight, so I could not go with my original idea of black gimp, as the 1/2" gimp was just too heavy and stiff for this fabric.  I opted to go with a simple black silk crepe ruffle.  I used the selvaged edge for the top of the ruffle, and completed a quick hem on the other edge.  Then, I used my ruffler foot at the 12 setting, so every twelve stitches, it placed a "tuck" for a soft ruffled look.  From there, it was an easy sewing job to attach the ruffle to the apron/Bustle all the way around the four yards.  Last thing to do was to add the ties at the waist to gather up each side.  I made these ties in the "Raisin" colored fabric to co-ordinate with the bodice and foundation skirt fabric. 

 What I really liked about these two fabrics together is that they have a matching sheen.  The foundation skirt is a medium weight textured cotton with a great sheen to it, so I knew I needed something that would be comparable.  The silk was a perfect match.  The "foundation" skirt does a great job of adding some supporting structure for the apron/bustle to lay against!  Nothing too fancy for the skirt and apron/bustle.  I like the understated detail work, as the bodice is where all the detailing is focused!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Just Dyeing to Try it!

Okay, so this is the next installment in the Bustle Gown Project, which will focus on the Art of Dyeing fabrics a different color.  I have to say that my past attempts at dyeing resulted in dismal results, so needless to say I was more than slightly apprehensive.  There was a lot riding on this dye job.  I had found an old distressed silk wedding gown, and I really wanted the dyeing to work well, as I probably could not afford to replace the silk faille fabric if I ruined it.  So, I re-read some dyeing tips that I had received from a "fellow seamstress friend", then read the entire dye powder box front to back to inside.  And got ready to go!

 Preparation is a big part of a successful dye attempt.  Have ALL your supplies handy, and think through the process, visualize it, before you begin.  Know where you are going to start and where you are going to end your project ie: start in the kitchen near the stove for super hot water to properly dissolve the dye grains for your dye bath, then end at the washing machine.  Next, are you going to go with a bucket for smaller jobs, the washing machine, or a tub for larger jobs?  Take the time to think it through start to finish.  You will be glad you took the time upfront to properly prepare and/or decide on your course of action.
 When I started my dye project, I knew the color I wanted, the big question was, How do I get there?  Purple was not one of the dye powder colors available the day I was shopping, so I knew I was going to have to mix it.  The "Rit" brand is the tried and true standard, and powder is probably more desirable as it seems to be able to get a deeper, darker color dye than the liquid.  However, the day I was shopping, there was no red powder dye either, so I went with the liquid version. 

Several key factors for me: 1) Start soaking your fabric in hot water, or washing it is best, while you are setting up your supplies, for at least 20-30mins.  2) Boiling water is best for the first step of the dye bath to completely dissolve the dye powders.  You will not be putting your hands in it at this stage, and maybe not at all, if you are really careful.  I used a long wooden spoon for most of my project, and only touched the fabric once taking it from the tub to the washing machine at the end. 3) Set enough time aside for the entire project - give yourself 60 to 90mins from start to finish.   4) Always use 2-3 times more dye powder or dye liquid for best results. 5)  Dyeing works best on Natural Fabrics ie: cottons, linens, and silks.  6) Determine where you are going to process your dye job.  7) Do not forget to add the salt or vinegar to the dye solution!

I opted for a large plastic tub IN my bathtub.  I poured the hot dye bath into the tub and measured in the necessary "hot water" needed for the amount of fabric I was working with.  Once that was settled, I ran a couple of dye tests to make sure I was in the color tone I was looking for.  I had mixed two boxes of Navy dye to a half bottle of Red Liquid dye to get the color I wanted for the dye bath.  (From here, how long you leave the fabric in the dye solution will also determine how dark your end color will be.)  I began to carefully add the wet fabric, and then used my long wooden spoon to "stir" or "swish" the fabric around to ensure that the dye solution was getting everywhere as evenly as possible.  My fabric was in the dye solution for 30mins with constant mixing.  The water cools down pretty fast, so once it was ready to come out, I poured all the excess dye solution carefully down the drain, and carried the tub and fabric out to the washing machine.  I had my latex gloves on the entire time.  Moving the fabric into the washing machine was the only time I actually touched the fabric with my gloved hands, and the fabric was very cool to the touch by then.  Gentle wash cycle to remove the excess solution and help set the dye.  Dryer time, and it was done!  The perfect shade of "Plum" I was going for!

 I opted for the "tub in a bathtub" idea, as I was not sure the dye would not ruin my bathtub if I mixed it up directly in my bathtub.  Surprisingly, all the dye splash drops in my bathtub came off quickly and easily with a little bleach!  I cleaned up immediately, while the finished dyed fabric was washing.  Also, both tubs wiped up clean as well.  The small white bucket did leave a residue inside, but that was because the inside was kind of scruffy, so when I added the boiling water to create the Dye Bath it was a little more porous and gave the dye something to stick to.  The big blue tub that I used for the Dye Solution came out perfectly clean with a quick bleach rinse.  

In conclusion, I had a great experience dyeing, and have worked thru two other dyeing projects since this one!  By custom dyeing our fabrics, we can almost certainly ensure that no-one will be wearing the exactly same shade of fabric!  It also gives us options.  Maybe you need some black silk trim for a pleat, but you only have white Dupioni sitting around?  Quick dye job, and you have your black!  I encourage you to start with something small and easy, maybe a couple pairs of cotton gloves.  I wish I had been thinking about gloves, I could easily have dropped a pair into the dye solution, and then had a perfectly color matched pair of gloves to wear with my new ensemble!  Good luck!

Friday, November 16, 2012

...Every Leaf a Flower

 Sometimes I like to take a break from sewing.  I saw this DIY project post up on Pinterest this week.  So, walking to the car yesterday & today, I grabbed some large colorful maple leaves.  The leaves from yesterday were already too dried out and crumbly to use.  If you can, pick the leaf directly from the tree, it gives you more working time with a flexible leaf.  Super easy, and so very pretty for Autumn as a Thanksgiving center piece!  Enjoy!

Autumn is a second Spring, when every leaf is a flower. - Albert Camus

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Sunset Gold

I was driving home today, and the sunset was so breathtaking!  A bright yellow gold, not just yellow, but blindingly bright golden color  surrounded with feathery clouds of greys, blacks, and dark purples.  It was Nature at it's finest! This dress was the closest I could find to what I was seeing this evening.  I love to look at the colors that Nature throws together and try to use them for inspiration.  I like the idea of a lemon yellow with a plum, a grey, or even a black contrast such as this vintage gown.  Enjoy! 


2-piece dress & hat: yellow figured silk bodice, cream lace yoke & high neck, black lace applied bands, white chiffon w/ black velvet ribbon shoulder scarf, yellow silk faille skirt w/ black velvet ribbon trim, black straw hat w/ cloth flowers & silk ribbons 

Thinking Outside The Bolt - Fabric Alternatives

As a seamstress, sometimes the biggest challenge we face is simply finding some fabric that will work with the project we are trying to create.  Seems like it would be/should be something pretty easy to do right?  But, strangely enough, finding the perfect fabric can be harder than anticipated.  All my dresses start out with research, then into a sketch, then into reality.  I can find the perfect researched gown made of an incredible fabric, but then I can never seem to find that exact ideal fabric when I want it.  I think that is why we all have "working stashes" and like to store good fabric deals when we find them, because experience has taught us that chances are we will not find "THE" fabric when we need it.  So, "Shopping the Stash" can go a long way towards solving that dilemma!  

I was out shopping at "The Barn" antique mall looking for vintage trims.  It was a bit before Halloween, so every booth had something interesting to look at.  In one costume booth, this seller had two wedding gowns.  Now, I like wedding gowns, the bigger the better!  And if I can get silk wedding gowns with 6-8ft trains, and these gowns are under $23 each, I consider that a "win-win" situation.  Add in the 20% Halloween Discount for the "Bonus Win" and I bought both of them!
The first was a 1950's white silk faille with a six foot train.  Someone had spilled a lovely pink cocktail down the front of it, but that was not going to be a problem.  Looking at the gown, I noted a tremendous amount of gathering at the waist, so I knew I had plenty of fabric to work with.  I like natural fabrics such as silks, linens, and cottons for my gowns.  I find gowns constructed of these fabrics are SO much cooler to wear as the fabrics "breathes", as compared to synthetics, which traps your body heat against your skin.  If I must use  a synthetic it is going to be the foundation skirt, or extraneous parts of the bodice, like a cuff or collar.
Top piece is cotton & bottom right piece is polyester
 So, how do we know a natural fiber fabric from a synthetic?  The tried and true method is the "Burn Test".  If you have never done a Burn Test, I strongly encourage you to try it even just once in a safe environment.  Take a small piece of a 100% natural fabric and a small piece of a 100% synthetic.  I used a piece of tinfoil as my safety mat, and I imagine a metal pie tin would work just as well.  Light the natural fabric first and watch what happens.  Then light the synthetic.  Once you watch this, you will understand why baby clothing is never suppose to be made of synthetic fabric.  The synthetic is highly flammable and does not just burn, it MELTS!  Your natural fabrics, if they burn, burns to a fine ash.  Check out YouTube for some sample videos, but nothing compares with doing a sample test yourself.

So, back to the wedding gowns.  The second gown looked to be a 1980's gown made of a heavy duchess silk satin that is just amazing.  (I have plans for this one for a future project!)  Again, it had some issues, one of which being such a dated design style, that the seller was just looking to unload it for a Halloween costume.  Lucky me!   So, my point here is sometimes, as a seamstress, we have to "think outside the bolt" and see potential in different places and different ways.  Curtains, especially vintage curtains, have made for some fabulous ensembles.  Re-purposed wedding gowns work.  An embroidered Sari. Sheets and bedspreads.  These are all basically pieces of fabric that are just waiting to start a new project with you!  

So, in conclusion, I dyed the first wedding gown a "plum" color to compliment the base color scheme of my Bustle Gown.  I had enough fabric to create an apron/bustle combination using four yards with enough left over to use pieces for contrast on the bodice, and finally to make some small silk roses for the vintage hat I will will wear with the ensemble.  I also kept the stays in the bodice and will probably re-purpose those for a corselette belt.  Next, I used the ribbon-trimmed tulle underskirt to make a new 1950's petticoat.  Lastly, I sold the vintage trim on the wedding gown on EBay for $10 plus s/h, so the finally cost of the silk gown ended up being approx $11.  (Five yards of a silk faille could run approx $250) It's all about recycle and re-purpose!  So, next time you are out shopping for fabric, don't just stop at the bolt! 
Vintage bridal trim sold for $10 on EBay

Full-sized BedSkirt - 20ft of 12" pleated satin for $8

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Burda 7880 Pattern Review - Foundation skirt

I had six yards of this lovely cotton/poly blend fabric in the stash.  I knew it was going to be a Bustle Gown.  I also knew I did not have enough for all three pieces ie: Bodice, apron/bustle combo, and foundation skirt.  So, I opted to go with the foundation skirt (4 1/2 yds) and the bodice ( 1 1/2yrds).  The thread I selected was called "Raisin", so that is the color I am calling this fabric.  There is a lovely sheen to the fabric, plus there is almost a color change at times.  There is a very fine texture to it as well, which you will see in some closeups for my future postings. 
 I selected the Burda 7880 pattern for this Bustle ensemble for the reasons I listed in my first pattern review post.  In general, this skirt came together very easy.  Only Three pieces plus a waistband.  Some basic knife pleating in the back, fit it to the waistband, hem, add H&E, and you are done.  The pattern does call for the addition of six plastic rings to the back of the skirt as anchors for the separate apron/bustle combo, but I left those off.  Total time from cut to finish was approximately four hours.  I will certainly use this pattern again for some future foundation skirts.  Unfortunately, I did not have enough fabric left over for a ruffle or trim this time around, but something to plan for in the future absolutely!

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Cranberry Stripes

When I look at this gown, it just makes me happy!  I think it is the color combo - Cranberry silk with a matching Ivory and Cranberry Stripe with variegated sizing.  Do you not just love it!  I think it would be the perfect ensemble for a Christmas Tea! 

1890 Day Gown

The placement of solid Cranberry fabric juxtaposed against the striped fabric adds a lot of "wow factor" to the overall effect.  The huge puff sleeves are certainly a strong focal point, and are balanced by the matching color of the high neck collar, belt, and waist corsage.  The lower sleeves are cut on the diagonal for a chevron effect that is simply beautiful, and did you notice the bodice insert and belt are cut on the horizontal?  Now you get to factor in the variegated stripe sizing.  Study the gown and see where the designer used the different sized stripes to add balance and visual interest.  Next time you are laying out your fabric and setting the pattern pieces prior to cutting, think about making a small change to the layout here and there, if you have the extra fabric, to add a new design element.  Start small, see if you like it!  Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pattern Review: Burda 7880

I looked around the Internet for a Bustle Gown pattern.  The pattern needed to have separate inserts in the bodice, include the Bodice, apron/bustle combo, and the foundation skirt all in one pattern, and have adjustable sizing.  The Burda 7880 had all my requirements in this pattern, and was modestly priced.  I purchased my copy on EBay for $14. 

Burda is a European based company.  IMO English is not their first language.  I believe German is their primary language.  The pattern states "by Verlag Aenne Burda GmbH & Co. KG, Am Kestendamm 2, 77652 Offenburg, Germany".  The one I picked up was "Imported by Canada", and had English, Spanish, and French instructions.  Searching around the Internet for details of who, what, and where they are located simply pulled up multiple sewing and/or pattern sites.  I do not think the person that interpreted the sewing instructions was 1) a seamstress and 2) completely fluent in English.  Sometimes the pattern instructions made absolutely no sense.  It seemed that because they did not understand sewing terms and techniques in general that their grasp of an English equivilent was oftentimes wildly incorrect.  There are very few pictures and/or diagrams to help with the written instructions.  What I found rather interesting is that they actually number the seam lines, so I had to keep all the pattern pieces out at all times to reference back to.  These lines are separate from all the well-known markings we trace onto our fashion fabric, and there was really no way to trace them, I simply had to keep the patterns handy for quick reference.   In fairness, the pattern does state an "Average" difficulty, which I might equate with Intermediate Advance levels. 

Another point of concern was the fabric placement diagrams.  I found it on the side panel of the skirt pattern piece.  There are grain lines on the pattern pieces, but for the fabric placement, it seemed like it was "anything goes".  Also, they do not address fabric with a nap and/or stripe.  "Fold" instructions, they leave that up to you as well.  Lastly, what I found frustrating was some pattern pieces had a "x2" which I found had TWO different meanings.  When our fabric is folded, we have TWO pieces, then there were times when I needed to DOUBLE it, and I needed four pieces, go figure! 

This Pattern only works on 55" or larger fabrics.  They show 55" & 59" for yardage measurements.  These amounts appear to work, but I would suggest making sure you have at least 1/2yd to 1yard extra just to be safe. 

In Conclusion, I would state that for someone to attempt this pattern having strong prior bodice construction knowledge would be best.   Also, a good working knowledge of how to determine your fabric grain and how to setup your pattern pieces on your fabrics will help you in the long run.  This pattern will not work with heavy stripes, and I would also encourage you to select fabric with a clearly defined "right" and "wrong" side to avoid confusion on the bodice, especially as there are eighteen pieces just in the bodice construction. 

I will be sharing future notes on Bodice Construction and Foundation Skirt construction in upcoming posts.  Please check back again, as the story continues!

Pretty Dress of the Day - Some like it Smocked

I found this gown For Sale on a Vintage Resale website.  I saved the photos, but unfortunately, I can not get them in a larger format.  So, I apologize up front on that issue, but the gown is just so exceptional, I hope you do not mind the petite pictures!  I was searching around the Internet and came across this gown.  At first glance it seemed a little simple, but I like simple sometimes.  What made me look a little longer was the collar and the bodice yoke, it is all intricate smocking!  Then I started looking a little closer.  The cuffs, from elbow to wrist, are smocked, as is the yoke on the skirt!  Amazing!  Smocking drives me crazy, so to see it taken to this level of expertise had me in awe!  It is a natural fabric, either cotton or silk, if I recall correctly, and everything just looks wonderful!  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 Bustle Gown Sewing Project

This project was approximately sixteen days in the making.  I am going to be breaking everything down in segments over the next few days and/or weeks.  We will be looking at pattern reviews, dyeing techniques, recycle & reuse on special fabrics, sewing tips, and finishing touches.  For now, I will say I am glad it is finished, and I can move onto my next project.  Some pieces were quick and easy, some were time consuming and tedious at best.   There are three pieces total, the fitted bodice, the apron/bustle combo, and the foundation skirt.  Primary colors are "raisin" and "plum", with black accents.  More to follow!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - She Danced All Night

 She Could Have Danced All Night!

The Victorian Ball Season is kicking into high gear starting this month.  There is just something so magical about donning on a pair of button-up opera length gloves, fastening a lovely gemstone necklace around your neck, slipping on your favorite pair of dancing slippers, and stepping into a sumptuous Ballgown that seems to transport us back in time.  We can imagine what it was like to feel that anticipation and excitement on the eve of a Ball! 
This is a lovely 1898 Ballgown by J. Doucet, of the Late-Victorian era.  The lace is exceptional and the design is simple and elegant.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Ballgown

1880 Ballgown
The Social Daunce Irregulars Ball is later this month, and what better to share than a Fall inspired Ballgown!  This is an 1880's Ballgown that was sold at auction by Whitaker Auctions.  There was no additional information, so we will have to use our imagination.  I am thinking a Pumpkin colored silk satin with a persimmon colored silk sash at the waist.  I might also guess a Pumpkin colored chiffon with all the ribbon detail work for the overskirt (there is a little glimpse of sheer on the bottom of skirt).  Then, to top it all off, some additional detailed ribbon work on the bodice.  Add in some matching feathers for your hair and you are ready of a magical evening of dancing!