måndag 27 februari 2023

A short visit to the 1830s

 My sister Lena (her blog, which is mainly about food) has decided that her husband's 45th birthday party should be a 19th century dinner party. Only people insane enough to want to make outfits were invited. And of course I was one of them.

We could go for any part of the 19th century, so I could have worn my 1810s ball gown, which I haven't worn to any event yet. But making something new is more fun, so I ended up making an 1830s evening gown.

The fabric is cotton, and a gift from my friend Amanda, who was clearing out her grandmother's stash. It is trimmed with new velvet ribbon, new satin ribbon, and vintage cream lace that I have bought at charity shops. 

In addition to the dress I made a new pair of 1830s stays, a new corded petticoat, a petticoat with a ruffle at the botoom, and some padding to wear over my hips and bum.

You can see some of them here: the petticoat, the pads and the stays, and me making a toile for the bodice.

The two big cheats in this project are that I used the sewing machine for all the construction of the dress, stays and and pads, with hand hemming, lacing holes, trimming  etc. and that instead of making arm crienolines to keep the puff sleeves out I went for the theatrical solution of stiff tulle inside.

The corded petticoat is, on the other hand, entirely hand sewn.

For the hair I also used modern methods: I put more hair gel in my hair than I have since the 1980s. The decoration is made from scraps from the dress and artificial flowers intended to put around a candle, also thrifted. I was shoprt on time with both the hair and getting dressed, because I accidentally played computer games too long, and had to really rush it to catch the tram. In all I had 40 minutes to do my hair an dget dressed and I think it turned out rather well. 

And that gel was firm .- this photo is taken on the way home, after a dinner party and some rather brisk walking outdoors for 1,5 kilometres to get to the tram home. 

Actually, all the photos are from after the party, this one is the only one I managed to take before running to the tram.

The petticoat is too long, I have already removed the waistband to make it shorter. It is made from a decorative bottom sheet with a valance that I got at a charity shiop, like so many of my things.

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