Sunday, September 13, 2015

1808 Ball Gown WIP

I apologize in advance for the lousy picture, but I'm so excited with how the open robe is turning out that I had to share a quick peak with you! 
It's looking even better than I imagined it. For the October ball, this will be about as much detail as it will get because of time constraints, but there are other balls coming up later in the year that I would potentially add even more detail to it (read: embroidery).

As for the trim, I bought five yards. FIVE YARDS! And it still wasn't enough. My estimate at the cutting counter was off by 10 inches. Not bad for not actually measuring the train. 

Until next time!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

1808 Ball Gown Inspiration and Planning

The Netherfield ball is coming up, and I got the Regency sewing bug again. I could wear one of my other dressed inspired by the early-1800's, but who wants to wear a plain, cotton day dress to an elegantly-themed ball? Not I. It's time to pull out all stops and power sew to get this ball gown done in time. 

My main inspiration for the dress is a collection of actual dresses, paintings, and modern re-enactors.

I love the concept of a loooooonng train. But I don't want to be tripping over it while dancing. The solution I came up with was an open robe. From what I can tell, there seem to many interpretations of the same concept: a bodice of some sort, a stylish closure in the front, and an over skirt. I really like the idea of sprucing up the basic white Regency ball gown and adding the color pop of the open robe. 


PS - Holly Madchen photography is INCREDIBLE!

Next up comes the actual ball gown. Apron-front (or bib-front), is certainly my preferred style, but I'll need to alter the pattern that I have to make it work (because I'm a cheapskate and don't want to buy :another: pattern). So it will all depend on how much time I have after finishing the open robe. Next part of the ball gown planning is the sleeves. I really don't like how the puff sleeves look on me; my shoulders are wide enough without the added puffiness of sleeves, thankyouvermuch. But then I found this painting: 
I adore those sleeves. I'll just be altering the sleeves on my pattern. 'Nuff said. 

And no dress is complete without accessories! I really wanted to make a pineapple reticule, but my knitting skills are very lacking to figure out the pineapple bag pattern on Ravelry. So sad. But then, the Dreamstress did an inspiration post and sewed her own. I shall be making a pattern for that too, apparently.  
Then it came down to scouting out materials to actually make this dress. 
I already had left over peacock teal chantung in my stash (left over from an 1860's ball gown), and there would certainly be enough to make the open robe with that. Random side note: I think I have a thing for deep, saturated teals because that color is starting to dominate my ball gown selection. Now, I know that chantung is no where near historically accurate, the material is too nubby. A smooth fabric would have been a better choice. But, honestly, I'm not aiming for a perfect look. Yes, I do want to look the part, but you can't argue with a stash-busting project that can certainly do a fine job of things.

For the actual dress, I found a simple dotted Swiss at Joann's (of all places) that would do the job credibly and pearl buttons for the fancy sleeves. 

The sketched out result from lunch breaks, blog hopping, and Pinterest cruising.
All that being said, I should probably get sewing. ;)
Until next time!

Summery Lemon Dress

And I have time to sew again. This past summer has been spent at work, farm stuffs, school, and an internship at school. Between all those things, I've been thoroughly whooped with little down time, so the time that I did have was spent sleeping or doing homework. ;) But now, I'm on summer break. And I have grand plans for these short, precious weeks. At least, plans that my adrenals can handle.

First on the sewing to-do list was a cheery lemon dress inspired by on designed by Kate Spade for her 2014 spring (or was it summer?) line. The price tag was a bit steep, but my sister adored that beautiful dress. Lemons. The dress had lemons. Vintage lemons. And it was adorable. That dress had a lot going for it. 
After much searching of the fabric stores and web, we finally found some fabric that suited her taste. 
And it sat on the fabric shelf. 
For a very long time. 

Until I finally sat down and told myself that no other project would be touched until that one was finished. (See what it takes to motivate myself?) Two afternoons of focused sewing time, and the dress was done. Seriously? That's all it took? Why did I procrastinate this long?! Oh well. At least we have some nice weather still in the forecast so my sister can wear it before inclement weather sets in. 
Pattern: Simplicity 2591
The only thing I probably would add to it would be a small yellow bow on the waistline. But besides that, it's ready to wear. The bow probably won't be added for another few years. :P 

Until next time!