Thursday, October 7, 2010

1860s White Sheer Ballgown

My inspiration dress: An original 1860s white sheer ball gown.
(unfortunately, can't remember where I first found this picture)

Fabric: cotton voile from Dharma Trading,
Pattern: Past Patterns fan-front bodice, with an altered neckline and waistline. The back bodice is fitted.
I couldn't tell from the poor quality of the inspiration picture what the sleeve treatment was exactly - so I did mine as a small double puff. I also couldn't tell for sure on the skirt - so  I did two hand-sewn 1/4" tucks and a ruffle attached to the outside of the skirt to make a little decorative ruffle. Hand-sewing the entire skirt took sooooo long - but it was worth it because the way it flows and swishes is just beautiful!

Rebecca and I had a sewing camp one summer and got both our white sheers mostly finished in one week.
This is how my dress looked in it's first life:

Ginger, also one of our main inspirations! Her fabulous ballgown started the 'white dress craze'. :^)

This is the dress after I altered the neckline to be a bit lower/wider. Trimmed with blue silk ruching, brown paper/velvet roses, and a brown taffeta silk swiss waist.

Newly trimmed. Lavendar silk crepe poufings, silk belt, velvet ribbon on sleeves, and golden yellow vintage flower pin.
My inspiration for the new trim colors actually came from the book 'A Girl of the Limberlost' by G.S. Porter. There is a lavendar and yellow dress mentioned in detail and I've always thought it sounded lovely.

Even though it's getting somewhat wilted now, there are just so many wonderful memories kept in this dress - countless humorous or epic moments from various reenactment dances. :^)


Nina said...

Wow that is such a beautiful dress! Great job! :)

Anna Olivia said...

Oh, it's gorgeous! My favorite photo is the one fourth to the bottom. So lovely!

Chip said...

Atlanta, this is one of my favorites that you have made. . . so much so that I want one of my own. :D Maybe someday. It's truly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Atlanta! I would love to make a special wedding tiara to go with that dress. It would be a fun project! :-)

Kellie said...

Oh, so gorgeous, Atlanta!

I think you have just started a 'white dress craze' over in the vicinity of my sewing circle=)
The swiss waist is wonderful, as well - I'll just put that on my list whilst I'm at it. . .

Many blessings,

SisterlyLove said...

Oh I love it so! White dresses are so beautiful.


Elegance of Fashion said...

Just lovely! I love the sashes; they're perfect accent colors!


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