Friday, September 28, 2012

'The Young Victoria' Violet Silk Dress Replica

I'm so pleased to share with you a most delightful dress project that I've been working on for the past several weeks.

The Violet Silk dress from the film 'The Young Victoria'

A lovely British lady contacted me this summer about making her a replica of the movie dress to wear to some balls and events this fall. At first I was hesitant about taking on a custom order when I should be working on wedding stuff, but as soon as I heard *what* the request was, I couldn't resist. :) I've only seen the movie once, but that one in particular was one of my favorite dresses.

Since the dress is pre-crinoline era, 1840s, it won't be worn with a hoop.

The gorgeous fabric is a shot silk with turqoise blue and hot pink threads interwoven, creating such a lovely, shimmery shade of violet. From Rennaissance Fabrics. Looking at the movie pictures closely, I think that dress may be silk satin. However, I like the taffeta much better.

Satin ribbon lacing the back from The Ribbon Jar.

English netting lace decorating the sleeves from Lace Heaven.

The bodice is fitted and boned, and finished off with piping.
 The skirt is quite full and pleated to a separate band.


The pleated bertha was causing me to worry just a tad before I began it. What shape did one start out with for the pleated sections?? Doing a little internet research I came up with a wonderful (and historically documented) answer already proved by a very talented seamstress - see the tutorial here. So, even though it was time consuming, it wasn't nearly as brain-wearying as I anticipated. :) The piped tabs took alot of handwork, but they proved excellent place for attaching the bertha to the bodice.

If you look close at the original movie pictures,
there seem to actually be two colors of silk used for the 'pleats'.

The flowers aren't exactly like the orginial either, but I think they are close enough to provide a wonderful similarity, and a great contrast with the silk.

I also made the matching hairpiece. It was so much fun - just a simple wired band with the wire bases of the flowers arranged and attached, and a comb stitched on. I now must confess to have a secret envy of milliners - I think that must be quite a nice job - lots of decorating fun, and not near as much worry about fitting! :) I'd love to do some of these floral headpieces for 1860s ballgowns....

Now I have to say goodbye to this dress -
 it's getting packed up tomorrow and on it's way across the ocean!

I really want one.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall 2012 eShakti Dress Review

Meet my favorite dress from eShakti's Fall 2012 line:

I really adore the style - pleated bodice, cap sleeves, wide waistband, and swingy skirt.

The fabric is a flowy rayon blend twill, lined with non-clingy taffeta.
As always, very well made and high quality.

I absolutely LOVE the fact that all the eShakti dresses and skirts I own have two big hidden pockets on each side. Thank you! These are so handy, and so well done that they are not bulky at all, I can easily carry my phone or lipgloss or whatever without having to bother about a purse if I don't want to. Big plus!

Something I really admire about the eShakti styles is the versatility. Can't you just see this dress at a dressy winter holiday party or dance, worn with a big blue hairflower, sparkling silver necklace and matching heels?
Yes? So can I.

But, I can also see it worn with brown leather flats, and a jean jacket or a soft cardigan for a casual day on the town.

So perfect to be dressed up or down as the occasion calls for - fall, winter, or spring, which I love because it's so hard to justify keeping something in your closet that isn't able to adapt for many different types of events and seasons.

One of the many things that drew me to this dress are the four rows of tucks on the skirt. I always am drawn to modern dresses that have details that remind me of historical dresses - and this is one of those.
Don't the rows of tucks just remind you of those sweet little girl's dresses from the 19th century?

Just the right amount of fullness in the skirt - pleated in front, and gathered in back.

We did this literary photoshoot at a lovely bookstore, where I had fun looking out a stack of books I wished I could have taken home! :)

The back is smocked with elastic, so the snug fit of the dress is very comfortable and forgiving.

All of the Fall/Winter line is worth a look - I'd love to know if you agree me with on my favorite, or if you have a different pick?

If you haven't shopped eShakti before, you will love the selection of retro-inspired and modest dresses, skirts, jackets, and tops. The customization option is so nice too - when ordering you can alter the look of sleeves, skirt, and neckline all just with a few clicks!

Love it so much! As always I highly recommend eShakti, I couldn't be happier with this darling dress! Planning to wear it to our next swing dance, whenever that may be! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Regency Ball Gown and Day Dress

What I've been working on this week. A lovely lady that I met at last yea'rs Jane Austen Convention, is getting ready to go again (but this time it's in Brooklyn, hence I am not attending. :)
She sent me a package of material, and requested a couple of new dresses, in whatever styles I chose, as long as they were appropriate for a ball gown and a day dress.

The fabrics were a turquoise blue satin, a vintage silk sari in colors of dark turquoise, maroon, and gold bordered, and a medium weight green/brown checkered fabric.

From the satin and silk, I mad this two-piece ball gown. The sari overbodice is classical-inspired, featuring a criss-cross bodice, and the gold border used as trim.

The satin underdress. This could also be used as a dress on it's own, worn over a sheer blouse.

Over dress comes back into a graceful min-train that I know will be lovely when dancing.

The day dress is a simple apron front style, with medium length puffed sleeves.

A rounded square neckline

Showing the inner fastenings of the apron front style.

A small back bodice and full gathered skirt.


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