Friday, February 19, 2010

1860s Green Ballgown

Finally! Some decent photos of my 1860s Green Silk Ballgown. This ballgown was finished in November 2009 for a Remembrance Day Ball in Gettysburg, Pennyslvania.

I drafted the bodice based off of an original. I love the darted evening bodices that are so under-represented in the Living History community.

I designed the dress with lots of yards of clear bugle bead looped beadwork in mind - which I chose to lavishly trim the sleeves with. In retrospect the sleeves remind me of the stereotypical "princess" sleeves worn by Disney's Snow White.

The dress design began with two White, Purple, and Green silk scarves purchased at a Ten Thousand Villages sale. I knew that they would make the perfect Turban style headdress just like one I had seen in a fashion plate.

The triangular ruching on the skirt - green silk taffeta and white silk organza - contains thousands of purple beads hand beaded to it with the clear looped bead trim formed into rosettes at the points. Very time consuming! The skirt is lined in cotton organdy to stabilize the beadwork.

The skirt is box pleated after an original that I had the opportunity to study. The box pleats start out small in the front with one knife pleat on each side and grow in width to be very large at the back with lots of little knife pleats on each side.

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  1. WHOA! That is GORGEOUS! The color is SO beautiful, and the trims are amazing. Absolutely brilliant!

  2. That is magnificent. The scarf turban effect is really lovely, and unusual. Not the sort of thing people first think of when they think 1860s, but so perfect.

  3. Beautiful! I'm just starting to learn how to sew myself, but my subject of interest being Victorian/Tudor-era garments is making it an uphill struggle.

  4. Ah, just your usual exquisite work!! ;-) Beautiful, Lindsey!!