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Topic: The Pretty Penny Ball Gown (image intense)  (Read 14600 times)
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choleblack
« on: February 05, 2008 06:02:56 PM »

I'm an 18th century reenactor and a seamstress, so naturally I thought to do something related to those as my entry for this (my first) challenge.

This year, one of my resolutions is to learn proper 18th century dance! I've always been a little afraid of the dance floor, yet at the same time a little jealous of all the fun everyone seems to be having out there. Well what better way to encourage myself to get out and shake my (false rumped Wink) behind, than with a beautiful new ball gown.

I've named this the "Pretty Penny Gown" because this silk is exactly the color of a brand new penny. It shines & changes in the light so amazingly, the photos just don't catch the way it shimmers. I can't wait to see it under candle light.

Specifications:

100% silk taffeta in copper.
Combination of machine & hand sewing (no visible machine sewing) with silk thread.
Bodice & sleeves are lined with 3 oz linen inner lining & 7 oz interlining for stability.
inspired by A Polonaise with Detachable Embroidered Lawn Ruffles c. 1770-1785 from Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold.



close ups of the front showing the pleated trim.


Wide shot, shown with a basic wool petticoat. I am still struggling with the perfect companion for this copper silk. Sadly I don't have enough left to make a matching petticoat  Sad


3/4 profile from the back showing how the back seams curve over the false rump nicely.


close up of the pleated trim, the pleats on the back of the sleeve & the pleats on the skirt. It's a good thing I love pleating so much Kiss


extreme close up of the hand sewing on the pinked & pleated trim at the neckline. I'm really proud of how nice this detail turned out.


extreme close up of the hand sewing along the front edges & hem of the skirt.

A few in progress shots.


Fitting the inner linen lining over my corset/stays and the false rump (we call it the "travel pillow"  Cheesy)


the picky business of fitting the silk & interlining over the inner lining.

The gown debuts at the Reenactorfest 4 (Chicago) ball this Saturday night. For once in my life I can't wait to dance!

Thanks for looking

Chole
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008 06:05:33 PM by choleblack » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Quinndustrious P.
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008 06:08:12 PM »

gorgeous!
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artteach7
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008 06:16:13 PM »

Beautiful!  I want a shot of you dancing in this when you can!  How amazing that fabric is...and I want to see the bottom when done!  Beautiful!
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008 07:24:07 PM »

That's fabulous. If that doesn't inspire you to learn to dance, I'm not sure anything will. Smiley
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Juniper_Ann
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008 07:45:43 PM »

Wow. That is such gorgeous fabric.  And you certainly had a project worthy of it. I love your fabulous hand-stitched neckline trim. 

This would be so cool with a brown skirt in just about any fabric...maybe with a little quilting at the hem. 
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ingysoup
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008 07:59:46 PM »

Mad skillz - or whatever my 12 year old son says lol.  I would also like to see a future pic of you in it dancing!
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jasminemuslimgirl
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008 08:35:13 PM »

i love it!  you should make a petticoat from a beige or off-white silk
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008 08:50:28 PM »

Wow...that is lovely!
I immediately thought of green when I saw that it still needed the petticoat..either a deep Forest-y velvet (for fall and winter) and a lighter fresher--maybe polished cotton? green for spring and summer---think about the colors that copper turned as it oxidizes (greens) or is exposed to heat (dark browns, blues and purples)
Really---it is so lovely--you should be proud to dance in it!
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Grant me the strength, endurance, and focus to see it through.
bespectacled
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2008 08:53:41 PM »

Wow, this is gorgeous! It'll look amazing on the dance floor.. I agree, you better post pictures!
Oh, and I second the green notion.. I immediately thought a nice deep green, or even a turquoise-y green.
Absolutely beautiful Grin
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littler4bbit
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2008 08:55:42 PM »

*jaw drop* ... i.. hum.. wow... first, i love the color. you'll be hard pressed to find a fabric worthy of being next to that delicious looking stuff. (something harvesty... if that makes sense. lol)

second, i really have to applaud the 18th century seamstress/reenacting business. i absolutely froth at the mouth when i think about how much fun that would be! i started learning some things in college, but they got more into fencing and historical fights and honor and all of that (which i wasn't opposed to except that they were fencing in the snow!)

third - dang girl. you got skillz. and patience. i really hope you enjoy the dance!
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MirthFairy
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008 07:21:55 AM »

For some reason, I see this paired with a skirt in plaid silk. Mmm...
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choleblack
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008 10:02:54 AM »

Thanks for the compliments everyone. I'm determined to get plenty of modeling photos this weekend.

I'm still struggling with the petticoat color choice though. I think it's because I love the copper so much, I just don't want to see anything but copper, copper, copper!

Chole
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spicecarrie
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008 10:58:32 AM »

Wow, this is gorgeous! Maybe a paler color for the petticoat? Just an idea, I'm sure you will pick the perfect color! Great job!
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kellynchi
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008 01:41:08 PM »

beautiful sewing. thanks for sharing.
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birchhl
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2008 02:24:25 PM »

Beautiful work! My family has been in 18th century reenacting for at least a decade in the northeast. My mom currently is a sutler in the summertime. She would enjoy this Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2008 03:24:39 PM »

I'm totally in awe of your talent. Smiley
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zenthistle
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2008 04:28:14 PM »

i thinks it's pretty .. if hasn't been said.. I would think a green... would be pretty.. as the color of statue of liberty.. or a copper penny has oxidized would be lovely .. perhaps making a matching hat with  .. your new penny for trim.. to tie it all together.. I love haw copper changes color...
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sewluv
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2008 04:46:49 PM »

Looks beautiful! I think a flowered fabric with some of the same color would be pretty for the petticoat.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008 09:51:25 AM by sewluv » THIS ROCKS   Logged
choleblack
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2008 04:40:04 PM »

I've ended up (at least temporarily) going with some blue with gold undertone silk that I have in the stash for a petticoat. It works although I'm not convinced it's perfect just yet.

Thanks for all the compliments everyone.

Chole
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kahlan
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2008 07:34:48 PM »

It's lovely! I draped something similar for a class a few years ago, but yours is prettier. =)

You should also check out this book, just because it's gorgeous:
http://www.amazon.com/Haute-Couture-Pret-Porter-1750-2000/dp/9040092907
It has a number of beautiful Polonaise and Anglaise dresses. =)
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choleblack
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2008 08:37:07 PM »

Thanks for the book recommendation Kahlan. I've added it to my ILL list.

I'm anxiously awaiting photos from our event this weekend. I loved wearing this dress! The matching hat was the perfect addition to the outfit. Rest assured that I *will* share the minute I get the pictures.

Chole
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Spud
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2008 04:11:37 AM »

wow, this is just too amazing! i love it! and im so jealous, i'm trygint o make a historic dress atm and i'm stumped at the bustle stage, might take a leaf out of your book and use a 'travel pillow' rather than the big ol' sprung steel thing....

amazing dress, hope the dancing goes well...
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