Monday, February 2, 2015

1815 Ball Gown for NOLA

I am so pleased with this gown. It was one of those rare projects that turned out exactly as I had envisioned it. And I got to use some of the silver spangles that were originally for my not-a-wedding-dress!

The gown is made of cotton tulle and cotton lace over pale pink lightweight silk. Each spangle was sewn and knotted individually because the tulle is transparent, so I couldn't cross from one spangle to the other using one thread. It took, but was well worth it. Luckily skirts from this period are not very full at all, and the bodices are tiny!

The construction methods I used drew from a variety of similar drawstring gowns, which have accumulated on my Pinterest. This well-documented gown served as a main resource, however. I chose to make the tulle and silk as a single gown instead of doing two separate gowns, to save myself time and sanity. This gown in the Met was constructed this way, and was very helpful when making my ball gown!

 The paper flowers are from Dames a la Mode!

The bottom of the sleeve is finished with a drawstring

The back of the bodice. The side back pieces are top stitched to the back pieces, as are the shoulder straps.

Inside the bodice. Only the shoulder straps and side pieces are lined (in linen), as these are places that receive a lot of wear and stress from the arm.

Another shot of the lined pieces.

The front gathered section has a drawstring along the top and is gathered to fit the skirt along the bottom. 

Inside of the bodice back. The gown closes with drawstrings at the top and bottom of the bodice back pieces.

View of the drawstring channel from the outside of the back.

The skirt. I just love how ethereal and feminine this combination of materials is!