Friday, November 12, 2010

1860's Ballgown Progress

Not completely done - but almost! I should have this sucker finished tomorrow and then I can relax and breathe a sigh of relief as I lay it away for the Yule Ball.

I really had no idea how it was going to come out. A dear lady I made some gowns for earlier this year gifted me with this beautiful taffeta after I told her the blue-green color of the dresses I made for her reminded me of my Grammie. Unbeknownst to me, this dear woman searched high and low to find the same fabric to give to me since I had liked the color so much. She couldn't find the exact fabric, but this shade is very close. This was back in the summer - since then, I have wondered about how I ought to make this up and at last, with the ball coming up in a few weeks, I decided now was the time to do it.

I could have made it perfectly plain - but what fun is that? I drew lots of sketches and at last settled on what has always been my "dream gown" design. I always loved Disneys Cinderella. I watched it every day when I was little (just like my boys now love to watch Cars and Toy Story.) You know the dress the mice make for Cinderella so she can go to the ball? It is pink and whit eand has scallops and flounces. Very pretty and one dress I've always wanted. So I trimmed the skirt with two rows of ruching in a scalloped shape. To dress up the plain fabric, I added a fringe of clear beads between the rows of ruching. Although the bodice is not done yet, it will also have two rows of ruching and one of beads as well. The sleeves are trimmed with beads at the hem and will have one row of ruching just above the hem. I may make some poufy sheer white undersleeves but I haven't decided for sure yet. The trim on the bodice is just hastily pinned on for the pictures. I may move the position of the beaded fringe to a gentle curving horizontal line instead of the corset-like line it has. . .I think that may "go" with the skirt better.

For Christmas, the high points of the scallops are trimmed with a gold poinsettia. I have doubts as to the period-correctness of gold poinsettias, but this ball is not really a strict ball by any sense of the word and the gold looks pretty with the green. :) After Christmas, I can easily take off the tacked on flowers and replace them with other flowers, or bows, or ribbon clusters, etc. Or leave any trim there off altogether.

All that is left to do is to make and attach the bodice and sleeve ruching and attach the sleeves and sew on the hooks.

Right now it's lunch time! Time for soup and crackers and shutting windows. The whole area, outside and in, reeks strongly of ammonia. I'm hoping its just a standard thing that farmers put on their fields in the fall. Whew. It's awfully powerful.

Have a great weekend everybody!




  1. Absolutely stunning! I love the color on you, you look gorgeous.

  2. It's a beautiful gown, and you are 10o times lovelier than any Cinderella Disney could dream up!

  3. Oh, that looks lovely! Perfect for a Christmas ball. And every girl needs a Cinderella dress of her own ;)

  4. YOU make the gown beautiful! Love the color.

    Pamela and Frank

  5. Absolutely stunning! The green fabric is divine. You look so good in that color. I also like the gold poinsettias with the green...perfect for the holidays.

  6. Oh!! Oh it's beautiful Sarah!!

  7. That is an absolutely gorgeous gown Sarah! So beautiful! And I've always loved that particular Cinderella dress too :-)

    I think the gold poinsettias look splendid as well...just right :-)

  8. That is one beautiful dress!

  9. Wow, Sarah, this is gorgeous! So elegant, and I love the beaded trim :)


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!