Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pretty in Blue

After the trial that was acquiring the right fabric in the perfect-ish shade, the harrowing experience of applying the lace, and then realizing that the bodice needs to be re-fitted, I'm pretty happy to be done with this dress.

And now, shameless self-aggrandizement via pictures.

Maman lent me her mother's pearls for the photos!

My bubby.
As you can see, the bodice suffers to be taken in a bit at the front.
Serious side-eye action.
Just the Facts:

Period:  Mid-1860s

Pattern: Janet Arnold's 1860s ballgown, and a lot of fudging it.  The skirt is box pleated and the sleeve us a normal puff sleeve, but I tacked it down in random places to make it look interesting.

Fabric:  Silk taffeta, white cotton lining, antique lace, cotton organdy, silk ribbon, velvet rayon ribbon.

Time:  Once I got the fabric, about a week and a half.  But lordy, what a challenge that was!

Verdict:  Meh.  It is exactly what I had expected it to look like.  I'm going to seriously refit the bodice before I wear this in public.  This is my first time making a dress with princess seams, and the finished garment behaved very differently than my poly taffeta mockup, unfortunately.  Luckily, I know what I need to do, I'm just too lazy to do it.

I'm also tepid about the concept of using antique lace for this dress.  I found this lace a few summers ago in a Michigan antique store for $5 with a few similar pieces, and I tried to be as careful as possible and used the strongest of the pieces.  That being said, I believe there's a special circle of hell for those who use and abuse antique clothing and I don't want to end up there, as the last thing that I want to do would be to ruin this gorgeous lace.  So I might take it off as a precaution...

Anyways, I have another modern dress in the making, so I'll probably post that soon.  Until then!


  1. This is gorgeous! Love the colors and the overall silhouette. Glad I found this lovely blog :)

  2. Oh F, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! The lace is simply perfect, and it is very becoming on you :-) plus, that picture of you and your kitty is adorable!!

    1. Thank you, my dear! And I keep telling my family that he should be a model because he's so photogenic.