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Topic: I made a Victorian Ball Gown!  (Read 4346 times)
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toribird
« on: April 29, 2012 12:48:38 PM »

After playing a lower class character at Dickens Fair and lusting after the fancy ball gowns all season, I decided to make my own for the Gaskell Ball. I decided this about two weeks before the ball and, as such, threw all of my free time into making this dress. I finished last Tuesday, put it on, and realized the skirt would look so so nice with proper underpinnings. So I made a hoop skirt too!

Finished dress:


Eight hand-sewn buttonholes! They don't all look this even...I photographed the best two.:


I didn't realize how well the fabric would match the bird in my tattoo until I tried on the bodice for the first time:


I also made a braided hair piece, as my short hair isn't exactly period accurate. I braided some fake hair, sewed it to a headband, and made a bun at the back. I don't have any good pictures of the back, but you can see part of the braid here. I decided to make the hair piece hours before the ball, as I couldn't get my hair to look nice... So glad I live a block away from a beauty supply shop!


Details on production:

For the bodice, I drafted a corset pattern with 10 pieces, reduced it to three pieces with darts, and extended the top lines to sleeve holes. The sleeve holes and sleeves I drafted without too much planning and without looking at any other patterns, so I'm quite pleased they worked on the first try. I drafted the collar basically by tracing the neckline onto a piece of paper and making the pattern from there. I wanted the dress to have a sense of being off-shoulder without actually being so, which I feel I accomplished with the shape of the collar.

I used this tutorial http://steamfashion.livejournal.com/791377.html as inspiration for the skirt, but honestly I have no patience for following a tutorial step-by-step, so I looked at the basic construction and went from there. I ended up making the skirt wider, didn't add the ruffle (I tried, but it looked a bit too flamenco), and did a waistband.

I used this tutorial http://www.deathbychutney.com/hoopskirt.htm for the hoop skirt and did follow this one to the letter. I made the bottom hoop about 130" circumference (I don't remember exactly, but it started out at 145" and I cut it down a fair amount) and just cut each consecutive one a bit smaller, cutting more as needed after trying it on.

I'd love to answer any questions or read any concrit you might have! Thanks for reading.
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Fluergirl1
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012 12:56:34 PM »

This is Gorgeous!! Well done  Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012 12:59:26 PM »

Absolutely stunning! Awesome job!!
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012 01:36:03 PM »

lovely  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012 02:23:01 PM »

Wow! Amazing! You did a fantastic job and you look GREAT!
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012 02:24:49 PM »

Lovely! The neckline is my favorite part: It does give a great illusion of off-the-shoulder-but-not. The sleeves look awesome too! And those hand-sewn button holes? Wow. Same with the hairpiece! Lovely all the way around!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012 02:25:34 PM by Calabaza » THIS ROCKS   Logged

charlieandwillow
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012 02:30:30 PM »

Oh my goodness. That is all.
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012 03:22:56 PM »

This dress is gorgeous!  You've done an excellent job and I'm very envious!  I've never attempted something so big as a dress like that.
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012 03:06:23 AM »

your dress is spectacular, thanks so much for sharing
S
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Schneewittchen
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012 07:29:56 AM »

oh wow!  Shocked
i wish i could make something like this!
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